As we move our way through the new-year we wonder where the economy will be headed and many of us will be wondering where prices of daily goods will lead us. Gas prices have continuously risen in a seemingly endless spiral upward. January 1, 2009 it was averaging $1.62/gallon, January 1, 2010 it was averaging $2.65/gallon, January 1, 2011 gas was averaging $3.07, and now this year we are seeing an average price of around $3.27. That is nearly 52% increase per gallon since 2009. See statistics here.
So gas has been going up since 2008, hardships in the economy and continues issues in the Middle East are not helping the gas price issue. But, do the people of Minnesota really have anything to complain about when it comes to gas prices? Let’s take a look at some numbers and see.
Minnesota’s sister cities’ price per gallon
To start off in the scheme of things, Minnesota isn’t doing too badly when it comes to prices compared to all 50 states, see chart of states’ ranks and pricing here. But let’s take a look at how Minnesota is compared to Europe. To do this let’s take a look at Minneapolis’ official sister city- Uppsala, Sweden. In interest of disclosure for this comparison, the city of Uppsala has about half the population of Minneapolis, but is Sweden’s 4th largest city. Much of the city -as far as economy, businesses, culture, etc. - is very comparable to Minneapolis. The average gas price in Uppsala is €1.70/liter, which works out to be around $2.17/liter- for those of you still using the U.S. Standard measurement that works out to be close to $8.21/gallon. To make a contrast the people of Uppsala are spending around €1.96($2.49) for a loaf of bread, pretty comparable to what we are paying here in the U.S. Even though the prices at the pump keep rising here in the U.S. and Minnesota at the highest average in 8 U.S. states is $4.06/gallon, or about half of Uppsala’s average.
As we move into the beginning of 2012 it is not known where our pricing will go. But it sure seems that with all the issues going around, the turbulent nature of our current economy, Iran scaring the oil speculators by claiming the will close the Strait of Hormuz, and the possibility of increased inflation point towards higher price per gallon for our future. Some analysts are speculating an average of $5/gallon by this summer. This is a $2 per gallon hike for us here in the U.S. but it still holds us much lower than our friends in Europe.