"Average Price Per Gallon of Regular Gas"

Gasoline prices continued to march higher last week, averaging $3.684 per gallon of regular. Demand from emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil combined with geopolitical instability in the Middle East are elevating prices. With the summer travel season approaching, analysts expect prices to rise into the range of $4 or more in the coming months. High gas prices have yet to impact chain store sales data from ICSC, but some economists have lowered their expectations for GDP growth as a result of this and other factors such as the persistently weak housing market and recent declines in consumer confidence. For commercial real estate, the biggest impact will be felt on shopping centers, although the rising stock market and job growth are helping to support retail sales. Longer term, it will be interesting to see if shippers react to sustained higher fuel prices by opening more but smaller distribution centers, which increases the use of lower-cost rail transport. That trend was noticeable when prices spiked in 2008.