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A gas pump was Halloween's scariest costume

November 2, 2009 - Bill Speer
Halloween's scariest costume wasn't Dracula, a witch nor Barack Obama - it was the little kid who visited the door dressed as a gasoline pump.

The price of gasoline has leaped by 30 to 40 cents a gallon since last month. Unfortunately, it couldn't have come at a worse time. With merchants already uneasy about the upcoming holiday season, higher gas prices only make them more nervous.

Last year between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 gas prices dropped on average 93 cents a gallon across the United States. It was like an energy rebate for consumers and was especially welcomed at that time as it gave consumers a little more green in their wallets to spend on gifts.

We know from experience that when gas prices skyrocketed from 2006 to 2008 it hit consumers hard and spending levels dropped significantly for just about everything. As the economy is just now trying to recover from that abyss, the last thing anyone needs is a new spike in gas prices and thus, a new wave of less spending for goods.

Travel last week took me south to Lansing and then west to Traverse City. I put over 600 miles on the vehicle and saw gas prices at hundreds of stations across the state. For what it's worth, most every area of the state had gas within pennies of what you'd pay for it today in Alpena, around $2.74 a gallon. The cheapest gas I ran across was in Kalkaska, where stations were selling it for $2.61 a gallon. I did not encounter gas anywhere on that trip that was priced higher than $2.79 a gallon.


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