Is it because of vacations?  Or maybe it's all the talk of unrest in the Middle East.  Whatever the reason, I think they give us a heads up about gas prices that are  happening 3 months in the future to prepare us to pay.

Better save your income tax return for the pump instead of a vacation.

Brace yourself for another round of pain at the pump: $4 (or higher) gasoline prices by May.  Yes, the rising prices usually happen in the Spring because of the demands of summer travel.  This price increase however, is being predicted this time more because of anticipation, than current supply and demand.

Last week, the Energy Department reported exceptionally low consumption of gasoline.  In fact, the lowest levels since September 2001.  I'm guessing because so many people are still unemployed with no where to go.  Those that do still have a job are pinching their pennies.

A Gasbuddy.com analyst expects prices to rise to near $3.55 a gallon by the end of February and then peak again to around $4 by Memorial Day weekend.  If the past is any predictor of the future, and it usually is, Americans will only support $4 a gallon gas prices.  Anything higher and they begin to pull back on pleasure driving.

***sidenote: Gas prices going up at the pump means food prices being delivered from far away places will be higher too to compensate!