Cheap gas prices won’t stick around forever – Expect to pay more to fill the tank soon

TheStreet’s J.D. Durkin brings the latest business headlines from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as markets close for trading Friday, January 26.

Full Video Transcript Below:

J.D. DURKIN: I’m J.D. Durkin – reporting from the New York Stock Exchange.

Investors are reacting to economic data from Thursday and Friday… The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, the PCE index, came in roughly in line with expectations, revealing an annualized jump of 2.9 percent in December, and fourth-quarter GDP came in higher than expected, underscoring the resilience of the U.S. economy despite higher interest rates.

Wall Street is looking ahead to a batch of big tech earnings, the January jobs report, and the Fed’s January policy meeting. A decision on interest rates will be made on Wednesday, January 31st. Markets are pricing in a near 100% chance that the Fed holds rates steady for yet another month.

In other news – you might want to enjoy cheap gas prices while you can, because analysts predict you’ll be paying more at the pump. According to the Oil Price Information Service, demand for gas is low despite the cheaper prices. The firm says during the week of January 15, gasoline consumption fell to its lowest level in the last 12 months.

The average price of a gallon of gas has hovered at about $3.10 for the month of January – 28 cents cheaper than it was this same time in 2023. The global head of energy analysis for the OPIS explained why prices are about to increase, saying, “Winter gasoline is perishable. Every year, the industry has to purge the system of the winter gasoline—which has a lot of cheap components in it—and replace it with the summer gasoline, which is more difficult to make.”

However, oil prices could throw a wrench into OPIS’ analysis. The firm says if oil prices crash, the price for gasoline could fall significantly.

Only two states currently have an average of $4.00 or more for a gallon of gas – California stands at $4.48, while Hawaii has the highest average cost in the U.S. at $4.67 a gallon. 28 states currently have average gas prices of $3.00 per gallon or less.

That’ll do it for your daily briefing. From the New York Stock Exchange, I’m J.D. Durkin with TheStreet.

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