National Gas Prices Near 1,000 Day High
As the weather warms in most of the country, gasoline prices are also on the rise. Last week the national average for a gallon of gasoline was $2.66 — up $.04 from the week prior. Moreover that price puts the average just a few cents away from the 976-day high price according to GasBuddy.
One of the reasons for the rising prices is the decline of the United States’ oil supply. According to the Energy Information Administration, crude oil inventories are 100 million barrels lower than last year at this time. More specifically inventories reportedly fell by 1.6 million barrels in the last week while gasoline inventories were down by 3.5 million barrels. Additionally the springtime comes with some seasonal challenges for the industry as the switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline gets underway.
Although the national average’s increase is modest, certain areas are being hit harder. GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick DeHaan explains, “The usual suspects are at play, leaving little surprise to the higher prices we’re facing, but that’s little comfort to motorists being hit with gas prices in 17 states that have risen over 15 cents per gallon in the last 30 days alone.” He went on to say that higher prices are expected for most of the country eventually, saying “Think of the spring surge as a bit of a race- some states will see their price rally early and fast-paced, while others may lag behind- so no matter if prices near you surged or haven’t yet, we’re all going to eventually feel a similar rise amongst all states.”
Speaking of states, the largest jump in price observed last week happened in Utah where prices rose by $0.10 on average. The Beehive State was followed by Indiana ($.08) as well as Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Idaho, which all climbed $.07. Meanwhile Missouri was found to have the lowest average gas prices of any state in the nation, coming in at $2.37. That narrowly beat nearby Arkansas where the average price per gallon is $2.38 and the $2.39 pricetag in Mississipi. Not surprisingly California maintains the highest average in the country at $3.50, followed by Hawaii’s $3.46. In a distant third, Washington currently has an average price of $3.16 a gallon.
Looking toward the future, GasBuddy predicts that prices will continue to rise this week — moving them even closer to that 1,000-day high. However, with oil prices increasing at a lesser rate than last week, the hikes will hopefully be more modest. In any case it seems like drivers may be feeling a bit more of a pinch at the pump as the summer road trip season approaches.