Ever feel like prices at the pump are on some type of imaginary yo-yo, rising and falling on a whim without any notice?
Youre not crazy.
Not according to GasBuddy.com, at least.
Data compiled by the online site that tracks fuel prices show that, so far this year, Fort Wayne has recorded the highest single-day average gas price hike in the entire country.
Think about that – the entire country.
Our single-day average price hike – found by averaging out the three highest daily changes this year – is 34 cents a gallon.
Thats more than metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, which according to GasBuddy.com analysts typically receive more attention and criticism when it comes to gas.
And were not alone.
The data show that other cities in the Midwest see those similar price swings that we do:
Indianapolis hike was second to Fort Wayne at 32 cents a gallon. Dayton was third at 31 cents, followed by Columbus, Ohio, at 30 cents and Toledo at 28 cents.
In laymans terms, its a roller coaster ride in the Midwest, said Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.
Its hard to pinpoint exactly why this is.
In the past, experts have warned of price hikes when refineries underperformed.
Theyve also blamed a percentage-based sales tax in Indiana as a reason gas prices might seem higher in this state than some others, especially neighboring Ohio and Kentucky.
Those who did the research for GasBuddy.com – which published the data in a blog post Monday – were not surprised the Midwest had the highest spikes.
What surprised us was how they were quantified, Laskoski said. There were price spikes tripling other parts of the country. It really clarifies the price volatility in that region.
The largest average jump on the West Coast was in Bakersfield, Calif., which saw an average daily spike of 9 cents a gallon.
Colorado Springs, Colo., led the way in the Great Plains region with an 11-cent spike, while Lubbock, Texas, had a 14-cent spike in the South and Myrtle Beach, S.C., had an 11-cent spike on the East Coast.
But its not all bad for Hoosiers, Laskoski said.
While our prices fluctuated greatly, we were among communities that saw the most days where prices decreased by 1 cent or more, according to GasBuddy.com.
Fort Wayne has had 170 days this year where prices dropped by 1 cent or more – the third most in the nation.
Which two cities finished above us?
Those which were listed with Fort Wayne among the highest average single-day spikes: Indianapolis and Dayton, which had 174 and 171 days, respectively, where gas fell by a cent per gallon or more.
Those numbers doubled many other cities throughout the country.
Its the downside of the roller coaster ride that consumers easily forget, wrote Patrick DeHaan, another senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, on the website. We complain about the higher highs, but were quiet when we benefit from the lower lows.