Gas Prices Stabilize ... For Now

Oil prices rose in electronic trading after a coalition of powers launched air strikes against forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi this weekend. West Texas and Brent crude prices had previously fallen about 5% amid hopes for a resolution of the political struggles in Libya and the Gulf region, and following the earthquake in Japan. That fall-off was reflected in slightly lower gas prices.

The cost of regular gas nationwide Sunday was $3.548, down from $3.557 the previous week, according to the AAA. However, those numbers were still way up from $2.818 a year ago.

Gas at $3.50 a gallon may still be too high for many Americans to afford. Some economists believe that the recent recession was deepened by the price spike in mid-2009. While gas is well short of the $4 reached then, real wages have risen very little and 9% of American are unemployed. Household budgets may need to be rebalanced to accommodate larger gas expenditures, if this hasn't happened already. This means that even with the extension of tax cuts, consumer spending may be hurt.

Companies that use large amounts of gas -- ranging from airlines to fast food companies to retailers -- still face mounting pressure. Many have begun to raise prices but consumers may not be willing to accept these.

Meanwhile, demand for crude in the developing world, particularly China, has not abated. OPEC has signaled it has no intention of raising production although some of its members, including Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer, have begun to increase exports.

Gas prices have plateaued, but that may not be the case for long.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How much house can I afford

Home buying 101, evaluating one of your most important financial decisions.

View Course »

Intro to Retirement

Get started early planning for your long term future.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

stop making 93 gas make 87 gas only price drop in a heartbeat 1.50 gal make only one type of 87 us wide drop 75cent now gas 1.35gal profit for big is 3billion not bad but no gas at 3.60 ave big oil profit 9billion hum see why they dont drop the price sell less make more like car get 20mpg gas 1.50 car get 30mpg gas gas 3.00 gal so dont think if we all buy small cars gas going to drop i a big joke if you think so(fact)

March 22 2011 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what a stupid article, gas never went down at all here, prices stabilized? up 7 cents today, the author is clusless..

March 21 2011 at 7:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

it is strange what pushes most people's buttons. whether the gas station gets me for a dime a gal on the way up and on the way down just doesn't ring by bell nearly as much as a $2, sometimes $3 bottle of water. even a stupid vendor could not have more than 25 cents invested. same thing with a $10 cost bottle of wine that the bar pours 7 partially full glasses of at $7 a pop. or going to the mickie d's for breakfast and some fool in the family insists on an egg in their sausage and cheese mcmuffin at a cost of $2.50. a sausage and cheese mcmuffin is $1. $1.50 for an egg? all food out is a rip off, breakfast the worst. make your own list.

March 21 2011 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it is not about whether gas is $3.50 a gal vs $3.60 a gal. 20 gal fillup is either $70 or $72. it is about gas not being $2 or $2.10 with same fillup costing $40 or $42. much of the price push is speculators, but have you ever been to a racetrack or a casino? there is a loser for every winner. for those that think obama, mccain, if he would have made it, bush or any other president can control world oil prices today is living in a dream world. remember, that is
WORLD oil prices. the only quick fix would be taking steps to make the buck stronger. that comes with enormous downside in other areas and precisely why it won't happen.

March 21 2011 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to donut999's comment

gas will go up

March 21 2011 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The fact is the democrats take taxpayer dollars away from big oil and the gop gives it back. Why does Exxon Mobil pay no federal taxes when they use our roads to deliver gas? Because the gop believes that only little people pay taxes.

March 21 2011 at 1:05 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to inasctg56's comment

Everyone who purchases fuel pays Road Tax. get your facts in line.

March 21 2011 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 21 2011 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

reply to firefighterghg: Blaming everything on Obama is laughable at this point. When gas was $4 a gallon under Bush he met with Opec and got nowhere. At the beginning of 2009 Obama and our allies met with Opec thru the United Nationa and they agreed to hold oil prices between 75 and 80 a barrel until the world economy stabalized. And I watched this every night on the Nightly Business Report and it did not go above 80 until the last few months when the world markets started stabalize and manufacturing started to make gains creating more demand. But the recent increases are from the unrest overseas and speculative buying. If Obama addresses specualtive buying the gop will yell too much govt interference. Why? Because they support our oil companies making record profits.

March 21 2011 at 1:02 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

reply to Rhett C. Bowling: Business just passes the increases along to consumers and in many cases make money on it as well. I saw my own parents who owned a business increase prices to consumers before they were hit with the increase and blamed it on the increases. They made out. Average consumers don't have anyone to pass it on to and because of the decline in wages and jobs and have tightened their belts as far as they can. I really think the increase in specualtive buying needs to be addressed by the govt - but then the gop will scream too much govt interference.

March 21 2011 at 12:56 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Who are the top oil producers in the world? #1 Russia, #2 Saudia Arabia, #3 the good ole USA. Who would have thought? Yet our oil companies get subsidies from the federal govt when they're making record profits. Well, I should say from the gop, the democrats take it away and the gop gives it back.

March 21 2011 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

There is NO shortage of oil, there is NO interruption of oil, there is NO reason for high gas prices but the greed of the blood ******* jackels speculators. But in saying that how many of us are doing something to stop using so much oil right now? How many people are driving less? wasting gas on their gas hogs? We should do as they are doing in middle east countries and DO something. Stay home 1 night aweek. Stay away from the mall 1 day aweek. Make it a practice to combine your trips or shopping trips. Make these oil specualtors choke on their own greed! Now for me I do feel better as I pass a gas station to flip them the bird but that does mean going to confession more often but it is worth it. But a tip don't do when another car is passing they do tend to get the wrong idea. So in short...BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT!!!!!!!

March 21 2011 at 10:37 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to donnareed4's comment

it should be easy for me to contribute. i already stay home most nights and haven't been to the mall for months. always combined trips even when gas was cheaper--just because it is the intelligent thing to do. i guess you people who go out every night and to the mall 7 days a week will be in withdrawal. do appreciate your efforts.

March 21 2011 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply