Drought Means Higher Gas Prices: 5 Things to Know for the Week

Simon Zhen

Updated on Tue Aug 21, 2012

The dry weather in the Midwest continues to be a concern for the American economy. One negative effect from the two-week-long drought is higher gas prices. A recent survey found that the national average price of self-serve, regular gas rose from $3.51 on July 27 to $3.69 on August 10. Consumers and their wallets should look forward to some rain.

CraneStation / Flickr source

  • Starting Wednesday, TD Bank will no longer be as forgiving to its student-checking customers. The bank will stop waiving the first overdraft fee incurred by students per academic year. Student customers face a $35 fee when they send their accounts into negative territory. The change is part of trend in the banking industry that cuts the perks for being a student.
  • Chase updated its mobile apps with a host of enhancements and additions. Customers with the Chase Liquid prepaid card can now access their accounts, and even deposit checks, through the mobiles apps like regular Chase customers. Improved functions include the ability to enter a location in the ATM/branch finder and to view up to two-years of account transaction history.
  • Sovereign Bank is one of the latest banks to avoid state usury laws that place limitations on the lending operations of financial institutions. By placing a single branch in Delaware, as Bank of America and TD Bank have done, Sovereign Bank can — for instance — charge a 30 percent interest rate when a cardmember misses a payment. In states with usury laws, the bank may be capped to a certain rate.
  • In Maryland, it’s tax-free shopping week. From August 12 to 18, consumers don’t have to pay tax on clothing and footwear purchases of $100 and less. Parents have the opportunity to pick up a little savings on back-to-school shopping for their kids.
  • The drought in the Midwest is linked to higher gasoline prices due to the increased cost of corn-based ethanol. However, consumers are not expected to face significant price hikes on corn-based foods since processing and transportation makes up the bulk of the cost of those foods.

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