Summer vacation isn’t what it used to be.
A recent research note from Deutsche Bank’s Carl Riccadonna points out that gas prices are not following their normal seasonal behavior. Usually, prices sharply rise through the first few months of the year, reaching a high plateau during the summer when demand peaks.
But, as this chart from the note shows, while gas prices are rising, they are doing so at a much slower rate than they have in the past. The chart shows both the historical trend of prices rising about 25% from January to May, and the current 2014 increase of about 12%.
Riccadonna observes that if gas prices stay leveled out through the summer, it could provide a boon to consumers: “If prices fall shy of this peak, then reduced motor fuel expenses could provide households with extra disposable income for other discretionary spending categories.”