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4 entries from May 2009

Gas Pump Calibration Coincidental Email Chain

This is a true story, so read it carefully...

That sentence looks kind of goofy as I write it, but it seems to have magic powers when attached to an email.  The latest one making the rounds has to do with gas pump accuracy/inaccuracy.  By the time it got to me, it had already landed in hundreds of email boxes, so I'd like to offer a response.  If you haven't already recieved it, let me bring you up to speed.

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Gas Prices: Up at little? Yes, but compared to what?


I heard some of the usual radio bits about the gas prices going up because of the Victoria Day weekend.  First off, I hope everyone had a safe and happy long weekend.  Second, now that the fireworks are over, let's pause for a little context. 

Crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices have been on an upward tick on the commodity markets the last few weeks, taking the price at the pump up a few cents per litre.  So, compared to a few days ago, gas prices are up.  But take a look at the chart above that maps out Canadian average gas prices for the last three years.  The red one represents the year we're living in.  The blue one is last year and the green...well the year before that (2007).  So, while gas prices have eked up in recent days, your May Long weekend fill up cost you about $20 less than it did last year.  Not bad.  If Queen Victoria's face was on the $20 bill, I'd have a great ending to this post.  Instead, I'll settle for the $20 portrait of Queen Elizabeth that's now tucked safely into my jeans. 

Chart: Fuel Focus

Higher commodity prices take gas grices to highest level in 2009

So why have pump prices gone up in the last week or so?  As I've said before, if you watch the commodity markets and follow what happens to crude oil and wholesale gasoline, you'll get a good sense of where the price of gasoline is going to go.  The signs clearly pointed up this week.

On Friday, crude oil finished an uphill climb by hitting it's highest level since last November. You can find more here as well.  Wholesale gasoline prices also went up, with many citing positive economic news as the reason for the uptick in both.  As a result, combined with a smaller build in inventories than expected, upwards movement on the commodity markets have pushed pump prices up across North America.

Biggest Comment Ever - The Response

Pie chart Ok.  I've pulled together some information to answer, to the best of my ability, Rob's questions I posted about our "Understanding Gas Prices" pie-chart pump decals.   As you may have guessed, with data gathering and other distractions, this response took me a little longer than I had hoped.  The good news is that a few others got into the discussion with Rob in the comment section.  I love that - not because others are doing my job for me, but because it's what social media should be all about.  I'm just part of the conversation.  So here goes...

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