Clash of Titans: What happens when improving economy meet $4 gas this summer?
Are gas prices heading for a new record? Graph courtesy of Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
Wake up and good morning. So what happens when the early optimism of 2012 over a seemingly improving economy meets $4 a gallon gas by this summer?
That's the Big Question for Florida consumers, still financially strapped and in double digit unemployment, with the latest gas price prediction by Tampa's Gregg Laskoski (photo, left), senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com. "It's unlikely our income will keep pace with all the rising expenses," Laskoski told South Florida Sun Sentinel reporter Doreen Hemlock. That story, citing energy experts, blames the coming $4 price tag on strife with Iran, rising demand in China, India and other developing countries, plus concerns over limited oil supplies. Read it here.
That prediction is troubling for the economy and may also play an important role in the coming 2012 presidential election. In Florida, gas prices in 2011 peaked at over $3.80 a gallon last May but have dropped like a rock since then to the $3.20's in December. Now they are creeping up again, with Florida gas averaging $3.37 (and Tampa Bay averaging $3.34) as of Wednesday.
The highest price for gas in Florida was reported in July 2008 at $4.079 a gallon, according to the Daily Fuel Gauge Report. So are we headed for a new record?
That's the last thing this fragile economy needs.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times