May 26, 2011
Over the last few weeks, the FleetCards USA TrendWatch council has been keeping a close eye on the rising price of fuel. More expensive fuel has hampered the efforts of small businesses to recover from the recent recession and put a strain on budgets nationwide. Luckily, diesel and oil prices have slackened just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, giving businesses reason for cautious optimism.
On-highway diesel prices fell 6.4 cents nationally this week, according to the United States Department of Energy. This brings the national average price just below $4 once again. On the Gulf Coast, prices stood at $3.935, with California still leading the nation at $4.287.
This drop in prices comes from a sharp dip in oil prices early in May, which brought the market price to under $100 per barrel. Prices have continued to drop for June delivery due to strengthening of the U.S. dollar amid concerns over European sovereign debt. Prices at the pump should continue to dip over the next few weeks, but there is no certainty that these lower prices will last in the long term.
The volatility of the oil market and uncertainty of fuel prices is a fact of life in the business world. Good fuel management is a helpful tool to mitigate these ups and downs, but there are plenty of other ways that some companies have coped with higher prices. What is your business doing to protect your budget during uncertain times?