Chicago, IL (PressExposure) March 26, 2009 -- Nobody celebrates increasing gas prices, but GasPredictor.com is celebrating their correct forecast of the event. The Web site, which provides short-term forecasts of changes in retail gasoline prices in several cities in the United States, recorded sudden large increases in gas prices in the South in the past few days. When similar conditions appeared in a few other cities, they predicted a price jump in the near future.
Chicago was among the cities predicted to experience such a price increase. A note on the GasPredictor Web site yesterday (3/24/2009) said, "Many cities have experienced a dramatic price increase yesterday or today after a long period of upward pressure and steady prices. A few still have stagnant prices with strong upward pressure, and Chicago is one of them. Look for prices to 'pop' soon, quite possibly tomorrow."
The forecast came true with a volcanic "pop" on Wednesday, March 25. Retail gas prices, as reported by GasPredictor.com, rose from $1.999 to $2.129 per gallon in one day.
It must be noted that GasPredictor.com does not use the lowest gas prices, nor the "average," but rather the second-lowest prices within each city they monitor. And they take their main data reading at 4:00 PM local time, so the prices given above are the second-lowest in Chicago at 4:00 PM CDT on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
To make matters worse for Chicago, GasPredictor.com is predicting still more increases in the next couple of days, but nothing so dramatic as today's "pop."
The Web site is also predicting similar dramatic increases in other cities in the next couple of days, especially in and around New York and Boston.
According to Chuck Bonner, lead analyst for GasPredictor.com, this 13-cent increase is the largest single-day price change they have recorded anywhere since they began keeping data in November of 2008. "We had seen a few 8-cent jumps, both up and down, including an 8-cent pop in Atlanta on Tuesday," Bonner says. "There has been a 16-cent increase in Houston since last Friday, but that was spread over four business days," he continues, "but the biggest one-day increase in that run-up was six cents per gallon on Friday." In a few Southern cities, including Houston, retail prices have overshot the rise in futures prices, so Bonner and his team are calling for steady or falling prices in much of the South for the next couple of days.
When asked for a prediction beyond the next few days, Bonner declined. "Our algorithm is good - very good - at predicting tomorrow's gas prices, but beyond that, we don't know any better than anyone else."
Coincidentally, this sudden price increase in Chicago comes on the same day that GasPredictor.com has stopped posting its forecasts on the Web on the evening before the prediction is supposed to come true. Starting today, their predictions will only be available to subscribers to their e-mail newsletter. Visitors to the Web site can see the forecasts in the morning, but most of the predicted changes in gas prices will already have occurred by then.
Bonner makes a lighthearted prediction related to that change in publishing schedules: "A wake-up call at the pump combined with lack of timely access to our forecasts should create a large increase in the number of Gas Predictor subscribers in the Chicago area."
If true, would-be subscribers had better act fast. GasPredictor.com limits the number subscriptions in each city they serve, and as of the time of this release, there are only about 1,800 left in Chicago.
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]