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Gasoline prices still low but nudging up from the bottom of the barrel

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The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Minnesota costs 9 cents more than it did one week ago.

But with prices remaining at low levels, who's counting?

The TwinCitiesGasPrices website, a gallon of unleaded averaged $2 at Minnesota service stations on Monday; it was $2.01 on Sunday. Last week at this time, the average price was $1.91. But on Jan. 19 one year ago, the average price in Minnesota stood at $3.23.

The website found the lowest price on a gallon of unleaded is a low $1.71 a gallon at a Maplewood service station.

Earlier this month, WCCO talked to Akshay Rao, a professor at the Carlson School of Management. The nationally-known gas pricing expert predicted gas prices will remain low, at least in the short term.

“My instinct is that come this summer, when driving patterns change, prices will again rise,” Rao said. “Prices for a commodity such as gasoline are driven by forces supply and demand, and supply today is higher than it has been historically and demand in the winter tends to drop.”

Meanwhile, NPR News reports that lower fuel prices is contributing to a rebound in the boating industry.

Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, says that any extra money in boaters' pockets is good for business. His organization predicts up to 5 percent higher sales for new powerboats this year.

"We didn't actually even factor the lower oil prices when we made these projections. But I think that certainly they will provide a significant tailwind," Dammrich says.

The Minneapolis Boat Show will open later this week at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Boat Show is scheduled from Jan. 22-25.

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