Gas prices start to rise again before the holidays
(NEXSTAR) – US gas prices are still on the rise.
The average U.S. price per gallon of gasoline rose 4 cents from last week to $ 3.12 per gallon on Friday, according to AAA.
The national average is now almost 8 cents higher than a month ago and 95 cents higher than at the same time last year.
AAA expects a record 43.6 million Americans to take road trips over the July 4 weekend, a popular holiday.
It is not uncommon for gasoline prices to rise before the holidays, especially during the peak summer driving season, but this year prices are expected to rise even more.
“Road tripers will pay the most to fill up for vacations since 2014,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson.
As the US economy recovers rapidly from the 15-month coronavirus pandemic, demand for fuel is rising and pushing prices to levels not seen since 2014. And the hurricane season still carries the prospect of a hike prices if a storm affects oil drilling and refining on the Gulf Coast.
On Friday, Elsa strengthened in the first hurricane of the Atlantic season as it battered the eastern Caribbean.
“Motorists should be prepared to dig deeper for the second half of the summer, unfortunately,” said Patrick De Haan, petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.
In June, the Energy Information Administration predicted that gasoline would cost an average of $ 2.92 per gallon for the summer driving season from April to September, compared to $ 2.07 per gallon for the same period last year. . For the full year, the EIA estimates that regular gasoline will cost an average of $ 2.77 per gallon and that U.S. households will spend $ 570 more on fuel than a year ago.
For consumers, higher gasoline prices are part of an inflationary mix they have encountered as the economy recovers from the pandemic. Rising commodity and material prices also pushed up the prices of items such as lumber, diapers, meat and poultry.
The Federal Reserve expects many of these increases to be temporary. In an appearance before a House subcommittee last week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cited “the pass-through of past oil price increases to consumer energy prices” as one of the factors explaining the increase in inflation.
While the prices of some commodities have recently changed direction, oil has maintained its gains for the most part. West Texas Intermediate crude rose $ 1.76 to $ 75.23 a barrel on Thursday due to an early ruling by OPEC and its allies – known as OPEC + – that could raise the crude production in August.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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