Stations say they are losing money as gas hits record prices in Michigan

Posted at 5:26 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 17:56:05-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — We are not trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, but here we are paying a record $4.32 a gallon in Michigan for gas. AAA reports prices in Michigan hit a new high on May 9.

It is possible prices could get higher, before they get lower. Some gas stations are charging more than average. At a Mobil Station at Evergreen and Ten Mile gas was priced at $4.59 a gallon for regular unleaded.

Some are charging less than average. It was $4.15 a gallon at Woodward and Twelve Mile in Royal Oak.

“This is the lowest. This is the lowest,” confirmed Denise Howard, a driver filling up there.

Even drivers who are filling up with the most inexpensive gas in metro Detroit say it is impacting their lives.

“I ride my bike,” said Howard, of how she was saving on fuel.

“I am not always on the go like I usually am. I have to stay parked,” said Nickole Osley, another driver filling up in Royal Oak.

“Whether on the stock market or unemployment or consumer spending, it has a recessionary impact on the economy,” said Zeina Alsalman PhD, an Oakland University Economics Professor.

Professor Alsalman has studied how gas prices impact the economy. She says we should prepare for volatility in the coming months due to the war in Ukraine, the impact of the pandemic and inflation. She also said this is not going to be an extremely long-run issue, considering the data in the economy now.

“It might take a year or two, but after that I expect a stable economy,” she said.

“People are trying not to overreact in the short term. There is short term pain,” said Mark Wakefield, a Managing Director at the global multi-industry consulting firm Alix Partners.

Wakefield says big businesses right now are making decisions that show they are optimistic the economy will stabilize and gas prices will come down, as supply uncertainty seems to have pushed them higher than historically typical relative to oil prices.

“Which also suggests that maybe this normalizes into the $3.50 range,” said Wakefield.

But perhaps, don’t expect that right away. The Michigan Petroleum Association says demand for gas typically is greatest in May, June and July. Right now many gas stations are selling at a loss, hoping to get you in the door shopping.

“Right now our break even is right around $4.45 to $4.48 a gallon,” said Mark Griffin, President of the Michigan Petroleum Association.