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Economic Forecasts

Some Relief in Sight at the Gas Station

Kiplinger's latest forecast on the direction of energy prices

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GDP 2.9% pace in '18, up from 2.3% in '17 More »
Jobs Unemployment rate will decline further More »
Interest rates 10-year T-notes at 3.2% by end '18 More »
Inflation 2.4% in '18, up from 2.1% in '17 More »
Business spending Up 7% in '18, boosted by expanded tax breaks More »
Energy Crude trading from $60 to $65 per barrel in October More »
Housing Price growth: 5.0% by end of '18 More »
Retail sales Growing 5.1% in '18 (excluding gas and autos) More »
Trade deficit Widening 5%-6% in '18 More »

Gasoline prices continue their slow but steady downturn. The national average price of regular unleaded slipped to $2.84 per gallon today — down two cents from a week ago. The summer driving season is nearly over, and oil prices have declined recently. That combination should keep pushing down prices at the pump, albeit slowly. Diesel also eased last week, with the national average of $3.14 per gallon off a penny.

The strengthening dollar and concerns that trade wars will hurt the global economy have put downward pressure on crude oil prices. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate recently traded at $66 per barrel, a couple of dollars below its recent high. The oil market is certain to remain volatile, given uncertainties about trade, emerging markets and possible disruptions to crude production in several countries. But we look for WTI to gradually trend lower, to a trading range of $60 to $65 per barrel in October.

Via E-mail: Energy Alerts from Kiplinger

Natural gas prices are showing signs of perking up after trading in a narrow, low range for months. The benchmark gas futures contract recently sold for nearly $3 per million British thermal units, a level not seen since early summer. The heating season is only a couple of months away, and gas stockpiles are unusually low for this time of year. If supplies don’t start growing faster soon, traders may bid up gas prices in anticipation of a tight market this winter.

Source: Department of Energy, Price Statistics