Gas prices continue to fluctuate


Gas and oil prices are continuing their rollercoaster ride in New Hampshire. In fact, prices have been so volatile, even the federal government has admitted to scratching its head as to where prices at the pump will go next.As of Feb. 4, prices in the Manchester and Portsmouth areas were actually slightly higher in the day-to-day spot market, lower for the week, but higher as well for the month, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.Regular gas prices in Manchester averaged $2.636 on Feb. 4, up from $2.629 on Feb. 3, down from $2.657 a week ago, but up from $2.586 last month.Prices on the Seacoast followed a similar ride, with average prices swinging from $2.603 a month ago to a high of $2.680 just last week to settle on $2.645 on Feb. 4.Diesel prices also have been marked by volatility, although not to the degree of regular and other grades of gas.Diesel per gallon prices were averaging $2.88 in both Manchester and Portsmouth, a drop of a penny from a day earlier, 2 cents cheaper than a week ago, but 8 cents higher than last month.Looking at the national picture, Granite State gas prices are smack in the middle of the country.According to AAA, Missouri has the nation’s cheapest prices for regular gas at $2.43 per gallon. Excluding Alaska and Hawaii, California has the country’s highest prices at $2.98, 32 cents higher, and even 3 cents higher than New Hampshire’s premium grade.New Hampshire also has the lowest gas prices in New England, with Vermont and Connecticut running $2.78 and $2.85 respectively.Gas prices are a lagging indicator of oil prices, are affected by many complex systems not limited to the value of the U.S. dollar, supply and demand, and even investor activity and the overall global economy.The New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning pegged heating oil prices at $2.778 per gallon for the week of Feb. 1, down from $2.818 the previous week. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW
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