Money Minute: Gas Prices Hold Steady; Cost of Food Heads Up


A mixed outlook for the cost of some key consumer products.

Gasoline prices are expected to hold steady through the summer driving season, compared to last year. The Energy Department forecasts the average price nationally for a gallon of regular will be $3.57 this summer -- right about where it is now. Prices at the pump usually go up in the spring and early summer as demand increases and as refineries switch to a more expensive blend.

Meanwhile, snow has melted in most areas but the damage to crops from the severe winter is just beginning to be felt. Food prices are expected to increase by as much as 3.5 percent this year, and the cost of fruit from California, wheat from the southern Plains, and wine grapes from New York and Ohio could be much higher than that.

A hearing on Capitol Hill today could have implications for millions of American consumers. Comcast (CMCSA) executives are expected to tell a Senate panel that the company's planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC) won't limit competition for cable or Internet service.
But critics of the $45 billion deal say the lack of choice for high speed Internet access is the key issue for consumers.

Here on Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) added 10 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 33 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 7 points -- snapping a three session losing streak.

General Motors (GM) reportedly wants to give a charge to sales of the slow selling Volt hybrid by offering two new, cheaper models. Reuters says production will begin in the second half of 2015. The company sold fewer than 40,000 Volts in more than three years on the market.

And just days before the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, the biggest maker of matzo and other holiday foods has agreed to sell itself to a private-equity firm. The buyer believes the 126-year old Manischewitz Co. can broaden its appeal by promoting its kosher products as high-quality, pure and healthy.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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Mariusz Guba POŻYCZKI BEZ BIK, NA DOWÓD, ONLINE UBEZPIECZENIA PAKIET OC-AC,KREDYTY SAMOCHODOWE,NISKIE RATY,KREDYT NA PIT,LOKATY, Otwórz darmowe konto internetowe z prezentem! Tabela kursów średnich NBP nr 71/A/NBP/2014 z dnia 2014-04-11
Symb. waluty Kurs średni Zmiana*
EUR 4.1784 +0.18%
USD 3.0086 -0.02%
CHF 3.4343 +0.24%

April 13 2014 at 5:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
worried man

Just wait till they give amnesty and add 30 million more work visas ( Dems idea) You will never find a job that will keep you in the middle class

April 10 2014 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
welcome butch


April 09 2014 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The key word here is AVERAGE. On average gas prices will remain steady. In fact, gas was cheaper in the first quarter of this year than for the same period last year (diesel and natural gas are up). As suggested below, however, you may not see this at the pump because numerous states are raising their fuel taxes. Why all the prices increases? Supply and demand for the end product AND supply and demand for the commodity contracts that set the raw material prices. As much as 30% of the price you pay is the commodity trading premium that is passed along to the ultimate consumer (we pay so they can play). Still, over the past 10 years, the global population has increased 12.7% and the US population 8% — that's a lot of new demand. In the same period, the CPI has risen 97.2% — what cost you $1.77 in 2004 will cost you $3.44 today. Here is the rub: mean household income rose only 17%. CEO pay rose 26.9%—the salary, bonus and stock portions of their pay remained relatively flat during the period but the "other compensation" part of their income rose 267.6%. In 2004 the top 20% of income earners got 50.1% of all income (the bottom 20% got 3.4%) — currently the top pulls in 54% (the bottom about 3%). Oh! lest we forget, congressional pay has increased 110% over the same decade. By-the-by Mardie, the last increase in food stamp benefits was 2009 for a whopping 19% and the CPI has gone up about 10% since then —poor people are not better off, average people are not better off, still, some folks are better off. Keep blaming poor people for being lazy, unmotivated, and getting all the benefits and I guarantee the rich will pick the rest of the bones clean. No affordable health care, no unions, no minimum wage, no full participation in elections, no limit on political campaign spending, no regulation, no tax parity for the high income earners, no control on firearm ownership, no options for women's healthcare, no cabinet or federal judge appointments — that should fix, pretty much, everything.

April 09 2014 at 2:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I just paid $4.00 a gal. for heating oil. I guess they are trying to get all they can get before the global warming moves in and i won't need heat.

April 09 2014 at 1:13 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Thank you mr. obama.
I started drawing Social Security about the time you became president.
My SS increase in that time is not enough to pay for a half of a tank of gas.

Why did President Bush have the ability to cut the price of gas by more than half and you can't mr. obama???
Could it be because he wanted to???????????????

Can you explain why all 11 of the inherited recessions, since the Great Depression, were well on the way to recovery by the end of the second year of the new Administration???

Could it be because you are doing the polar opposite of what every Republican and Democrat President did to resolve their INHERITED RECESSION.

This economic downturn is going on 6 years with no end in sight..
How much time do you need mr. obama????

April 09 2014 at 12:38 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joper201's comment

Nice try, A-hole...

...The RECORD for CRUDE OIL and GAS PRICES was in JULY 2008...

...When BUSH was still in office.

April 09 2014 at 4:05 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to drpmindmender's comment

you conveniently forgot to mention the record LOW for gas prices near the end of Bush's term! NICE TRY BUT HEAD! NICE TRY...

April 10 2014 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Well Mr. President, as fuel prices continue to climb, putting yet more pressure on the cost of everything , It remains mind boggling that with all the tools that have been available to you since day one, to ease pressure on inflation and cost spikes, you have done nothing. In doing so you have made life worse and negated opportunity for many, by extending the downturn for two full terms. This is tantamount to painting and fixing up the cart, while you purposely let the horses starve and die off. You should post that on your Library wall .....

April 09 2014 at 12:35 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to usapaydirt's comment
welcome butch


April 09 2014 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its apparent you don't know the reality, here in San Diego the price went up 30 cents in the last few weeks. Its $4.10 for regular now, and still climbing!!

April 09 2014 at 12:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Not sure where you live but gas prices are soaring in the Southeast

April 09 2014 at 11:28 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to trbgd's comment

An increase from $3/gal +/- to $3.30/gal +/- is certainly more expensive, but hardly "soaring."

April 09 2014 at 11:46 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to muvcritic's comment

What are you smoking?

April 09 2014 at 2:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

And yet the Social Security benefit saw only a 1.5% raise while welfare and food stamp benefits were increased dramatically. Great way to treat people who worked all their lives to pay taxes and support government. Well, not entirely true since the powers that be decided that those who lost jobs and ran out of unemployment could be funneled to disabity for things like anxiety (who isn't anxious these days) while truly disabled people still have to wait the nearly two years for benefits. We live in a upside down world these days.

April 09 2014 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Mardie's comment

You are not a psychiatrist. How much do you really know about anxiety disorders and panic attacks? They are chemical imbalances of the brain beyond one's control that require medication. Even with meds it does not cure 100%, it only helps. We're not talking about the normal kind of anxiety that most everyone experiences from everyday life. It's the kind that makes it hard to go out in public and live a normal life. It is a disability!

April 09 2014 at 12:03 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kathelecn's comment
worried man

stupidity is a disability

April 10 2014 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

Well, remember Rome? You know, bread and games at the Colosseum?

April 10 2014 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply