Gas prices are probably on the way back up.  That according to St. Cloud State Economist and Dean, School of Public Affairs, King Banaian.  He joined me on WJON.  Banaian indicates the announcement over the weekend that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are cutting back on their oil production could cause an immediate change.  He says this comes as a surprise to some and what is happening to oil prices is still a bit uncertain.

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Banaian explains the question is really is how fast will they go up and how high will they get in Central Minnesota?  He says there are a lot of variables which includes China increasing their demand coming out of another bout of Covid.  Banaian says they are competing for the same oil that the U.S. is and if there is more worldwide demand the price will naturally go up.  He suggests a 25% rise in a barrel of oil which Banaian speculates would lead to prices increasing to around $3.75 to $3.80 a gallon.  He doesn't expect gas prices to get to $4.00 a gallon.

Gas prices do normally go up in price in the spring in Minnesota with the change from winter to summer blend.  Banaian indicates that typically happens in May before the fishing opener.  He says an increase in demand for spring and summer driving could also cause an uptick in prices.

The Minnesota legislature is still working on the budget.  Banaian is less confident today that rebate checks will be included when the final budget is determined despite Governor Walz suggesting rebate checks coming to Minnesotans prior to the Legislative session.  Banaian told me about a month ago that he still felt rebate checks could happen but is now backing off on that prediction.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with King Banaian it is available below.



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