Houston, TX (PressExposure) March 26, 2009 -- GasPredictor.com, a Web site providing short-term forecasts of changes in retail gasoline prices, has announced that its next "local edition" will begin publication on Monday, March 9, 2009. The Houston edition is the latest of up to twelve local editions planned for publication over the next twelve months.
Subscriptions are strictly limited. Only 1,200 weekly subscriptions and 800 daily subscriptions will be issued. Once these are filled, no more subscriptions to the Houston edition will be offered. These same limits will apply to each of the local edtions to be offered in the future.
These forecasts are available on the Web site at about 9:30 PM Central Time each business day, but subscribers to the "Gas Predictor" newsletter receive the forecasts in their e-mail five hours earlier. That gives the subscriber time to decide whether to buy gas on the way home from work, or to hold off for a lower price tomorrow.
The company has been publishing its predictions for the general direction of movement of gasoline prices for the entire United States since November, 2008, and they have been correct 100% of the time since publication began. The local editions, including the new Houston edition, predict not only whether prices will change or remain the same, but also the amount of the change.
A local edition for Chicago, Illinois will also begin publication on Monday, March 9, along with the Houston edition. These two join the local Nashua, New Hampshire edition, which has been published since early January, and the Atlanta and Raleigh editions which began publication in February.
GasPredictor.com publishes its "National Gas Predictor" newsletter, which predicts changes in gas prices for the 48 contiguous United States. These predictions, released to subscribers each business day at about 4:30 PM Eastern Time, are based on the price of gasoline futures and on the retail prices of regular unleaded gasoline in each of twelve key cities across the country. Using a complex mathematical model, GasPredictor.com determines which way gas prices will move the next business day in each of those twelve cities, and then applies that prediction to the country as a whole. These forecasts are remarkably accurate in predicting the direction of movement of gas prices, but only for one day in advance, and only in terms of direction.
The new local forecasts for Houston and Chicago will use their respective local models, the same that are used in the nationwide forecast. The forecasts include the amount of change, within a given range, in addition to the direction of change.
The twelve cities currently used in the national forecasting model will each get their own local edition of the "Gas Predictor" newsletter over the course of the year.
Houston marks GasPredictor.com's first foray outside the Eastern Time Zone. Chuck Bonner, lead analyst for GasPredictor.com, describes the special challenges of forecasting gas prices in the Central Time Zone: "We can predict the direction of movement of gas prices at 4:30 PM Eastern Time, but not the exact price range. We wanted to publish all our Gas Predictor newsletters at the same time, but we really have to wait until 4:30 PM Central Time to get a good forecast for Houston."
Bonner describes the continuing roll-out of the first twelve local editions: "Our predictions continue to be 100% accurate for the country as a whole, and remarkably good for each of our existing local editions. We'd like to share that success with the rest of the country. It takes a little time to fine-tune and test our forecasting algorithm for each city, but we're ready for Houston. Other cities will follow, but not until we're equally confident in our predictions." He asserts that GasPredictor.com can predict the direction of movement of gas prices for all twelve cities, but not the exact amount of the price change.
Bonner says that the local Gas Predictor newsletters for the remaining seven cities will depend on reader feedback, as well as on GasPredictor.com's success in adjusting their forecasting algorithms. "We're concentrating on fine-tuning our forecasts for those cities that our subscribers and Web site visitors are asking for most. Generally, that means the biggest cities, but frankly, we're having some problems getting a good prediction for New York. We'll publish that when we know it's right," Bonner says.
Subscribers to the national edition of the "Gas Predictor" newsletter can convert their subscription to any of the local editions as they become available, and they are given advance notice as new editions are prepared. For instance, subscribers were notified of the Houston edition over a week ago, so some of the 2,000 subscriptions have already been taken.
Annual and quarterly subscriptions to the Weekly and Daily Gas Predictor email newsletter are available exclusively through the Web site, at [http://www.gaspredictor.com/SubscribeMain.htm]