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Gas prices in Southern California will remain flat over Fourth of July Weekend.

Last Thursday I correctly predicted that gasoline prices would climb
1/2 cent to 4¢ by today. Now, I am predicting that they will flatten
and most likely drop over the coming 4-day Fourth of July Weekend,
dropping as much as 3.5¢, and increasing, on average, by now more
than a penny by Monday.  
 
If we see gas prices increasing, it will be because the major
brands are raising their prices, and if we see prices decreasing, 
it will be because the unbranded independents are busy discounting. 
 
At the wholesale level, the prices charged to Indies have 
dropped by 10¢ in the last week, with eight of that ten cent 
price cut happening since Monday morning. 
 
This puts the Unbranded Independent stations at odds with
brand-name stations who have only seen price cuts of 1.4¢
on average in the last week. 
 
The bottom line is that we probably won't see much movement
in gas prices this weekend, although if they do move, the 
average trend will be downward. My advice? If you have the 
luxury of time this weekend, avoid buying gas at major freeway 
intersections. These convenient locations can get away with 
charging a higher price because hurried motorists who are 
traveling over the holiday weekend are more likely to 
pay a premium for convenience. Alternatively, we may some
modest discounting at unbranded stations this weekend, but 
do not expect to see deep discounting beyond a few cents a 
gallon. 
 
Charles Langley has been tracking California gasoline prices
since 1996. He can be reached at (858) 752-4600