The price of oil extended gains above $100 a barrel Monday as the cold weather in the United States increased demand for heating fuels and solid Chinese credit numbers eased concerns over the world’s number 2 economy.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 49 cents to $100.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Nymex contract fell 5 cents to close at $100.30.
January ranks as one of the most bitingly cold months Western Pennsylvanians can remember, though certainly not a record. A cold snap early in the month made the temperature plummet to 9 below zero near Pittsburgh International Airport with a wind chill that felt like 30 below.
State College-based AccuWeather predicts a low of 10 below zero on Tuesday as part of the latest bone-chilling cold spell, one that will extend through at least Jan. 31.
“We’ve been selling a lot of winter tires. People who have decided to try and wait to see how the winter goes, I think finally pulled the trigger,” said Nick Lenhart, manager of Lenhart’s Service Center in North Huntingdon. “They realized it’s not just going to be a one and done.”
Now it is official and not just our imagination that money is not going as far as it used to! The Consumer Price Index made its highest jump in two years last month. Gas and food were the biggest culprits attributing to the gain. Without those two items, there was only a .2 percent rise.
Gas prices rose 4.7 percent last month alone! Food costs increased .6 percent. Unfortunately, more prices increases are down the road.