Consumers seeing higher gas prices at the pump

New app claims to predict whether gas prices will rise or fall

Published On: Feb 25 2014 06:34:52 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 25 2014 09:57:18 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

Gas prices in Wisconsin and around the country are climbing up about a dime a week.

Experts said uncertainty in energy-exporting countries like Sudan and Venezuela has been a factor in the spike.

Right now, the state average is $3.44 a gallon. Madison is a bit below that at $3.41, but that is up 11 cents from last week.

Janesville drivers are paying $3.41 a gallon, which is up 9 cents from last week. Milwaukee gas stations have some of the highest gas prices in the state at $4.35 gallon, which is up 10 cents from last week.

To help consumers predict when gas prices will be the lowest, there’s a new website, called Fuelcaster that claims to predict whether local gas prices will rise or fall in a 24-hour period.

Experts said while apps like Fuelcaster are fun, there is no way to actually predict prices at the pump.

“Forecasting gas prices is very difficult. Gas prices follow a random walk suggesting that over long periods of time the best predictor for future gas prices is the gas price today,” Assistant Professor at University of Wiscnosin-Madison Kris Allee said.

The site said it’s different from other fuel-tracking apps because it uses data from gas stations along with pricing signals, like the trading of crude oil.

Allee said consumers can expect gas prices to rise this time of year because petroleum refineries shut down to be cleaned after a long winter.