Nashua, NH (PressExposure) May 06, 2009 -- GasPredictor.com, a Web site and e-mail newsletter that provides short-term forecasts of retail gasoline prices, is predicting even more price increases this week throughout the 48 contiguous United States, even after the increases already seen this week.
Earlier this week, GasPredictor.com was calling for large price increases just about everywhere in the contiguous United States, and those predictions have come true. But despite those increases, GasPredictor.com says they now see even stronger indications of future increases than they saw at the beginning of the week.
Chuck Bonner, lead analyst at GasPredictor.com, describes the predicted price increases in terms of their prediction algorithm: "We have a formula that uses the prices of near-term gasoline futures and the current retail price in each city to come up with a number we call 'pressure.' This pressure may be positive, indicating rising prices, or negative, for price decreases. Typically, it's pretty close to zero, and we consider any pressure greater than 0.3 to be strong. Today, the lowest pressure we see in any of the three dozen cities we monitor is 0.3. When asked the obvious question, where is the lowest pressure today, Bonner replies, "In Miami. There are pressures not much above 0.3 in parts of Ohio and a few places on the West Coast where there were double-digit price increases today, which relieves pressure. On any other day, we'd call 0.3 to 0.4 very high pressure, but today, that's the lowest we're finding."
Bonner says that the highest pressure calculated today is 0.92 in Phoenix. "We're not terribly confident of our predictions for Phoenix yet, which is why we're not publishing a Gas Predictor newsletter there, but we think it's safe to say prices in Phoenix are going up tomorrow."
The highest pressure for which the GasPredictor.com team is confident is 0.62 in Houston. "That's a new record for Houston," Bonner says, "and that's just because they haven't had a price increase in a couple of weeks to relieve the pressure."
Bonner says one of the most telling individual city forecasts today is Chicago. "Pressure in Chicago is about 0.41 today, which is very high," Bonner declares, "but what's most amazing is that this comes after retail prices there have already risen nineteen cents in the past week, including a ten cent pop yesterday and another six cent pop today. After all that, there's still enough pressure for another ten cent pop tomorrow." He hastens to add, "I don't think there will actually be a ten cent price increase in Chicago tomorrow, but there is enough pressure to justify it theoretically." He continues, "Chicago just illustrates what the rest of the country is in for this week. Just because you've already seen a double-digit increase at the pump this week, that doesn't mean you won't see another."
Bonner declined to give a longer term prediction beyond the next couple of days, saying that GasPredictor.com's prediction algorithm just can't see that far ahead. "If you want to know how much gas will cost next Wednesday, subscribe to the Gas Predictor newsletter and read Tuesday's edition," Bonner laughs.
Although their predictions don't see far into the future, they do seem to see accurately. Since they began publishing their Gas Predictor Newsletter in November, 2008, their predictions have been correct 100% of the time for four cities, and 98% of the time for Atlanta, GA.
GasPredictor.com currently publishes its forecasts for the 48 contiguous United States as a whole, and local editions for each of five cities. They plan to extend their preditions into a total of a dozen cities across the U.S. by 2010, and to begin publishing predictions for the price of diesel fuel as well.
Annual and quarterly subscriptions to the Gas Predictor email newsletter are available in limited numbers exclusively through the Web site, at [http://www.gaspredictor.com/SubscribeMain.htm].