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TrendWatch: Higher Fuel Prices and Economic Recovery

by FleetCards USA | May 19, 2011

In a recent article entitled “Rising Fuel Prices Could Cramp Economic Recovery,” the Los Angeles Times took a look at the impact of rising fuel costs on the recovery of the still-staggering U.S. economy. Fuel prices, driven upward by recent turmoil in oil-exporting countries in Africa and the Middle East, have increased to the point that businesses have had to cut back or charge higher premiums to offset higher costs.


The important thing to remember about higher fuel prices is that businesses do not simply pay more to fill up their tanks; to make up for higher fuel bills, the burden is often passed to consumers.


“When the price of gasoline goes up, you have less to spend on everything else… When the price of diesel goes up, the cost of everything you buy at Walmart and Target goes up: your food, your clothing, everything,” said Bruce Bullock, executive director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University.


This trickle-down effect applies to fleets nationwide as prices continue to climb with no end in sight. Whether your business services a few local customers or a nationwide consumer base, now is the time to be proactive about your fueling habits and do more to save money without sacrificing the quality of service your customers trust. 


“Right now, a lot of businesses are eager to start growing again and get out of the recession, but prices are making it difficult,” said Lauren Harshaw of FleetCards USA TrendWatch.  “Companies are having to choose between charging customers more for their services or continuing to cut back on their own business operations to offset the costs.  The good news is that with smart fuel management, it’s possible to keep your own prices competitive without incurring extra expense from your fuel.”


Managing your fleet’s fuel expenses come down to two major needs: saving money on fuel and eliminating wasteful spending. Start by keeping a close eye on fueling stations in your area for the best prices (within a reasonable distance), keeping your fleet well-maintained to increase fuel efficiency, and monitoring your expense records to identify and eliminate unauthorized or fraudulent purchases. Doing so can save a significant percentage of annual fuel costs and makes a big difference when every dollar counts.





FleetCards USA is an industry leader offering valuable fleet card advice, industry news, and information from numerous fleet card programs to companies of all sizes across the USA, from small entrepreneurial organizations to large public corporations. The FleetCards USA TrendWatch council was formed to keep consumers informed and educated about changes in the fueling industry that affect business fleets every day. FleetCards USA acts as a trusted advisor to customers in all sectors, from retail to transportation and government, thanks to a team of experienced industry veterans and partnerships with the biggest names in fleet fueling. Customers can keep up with TrendWatch on a daily basis on Twitter @FleetCardsUSA.