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Why the average gas price is $ 4.99 per gallon and how high it goes

The average price of a gallon of regular gas has reached US $ 4.99, according to a recent reading by AAA Friday. It marked the 14th consecutive day, and for the 31st time in the last 32 years, the gas has set a record in the USA. Gas prices have risen 39 cents or 8% since the start of the traditional summer driving season in the two weeks following the opening of Memorial Day weekend.

For most of the country, $ 5 gas is already here.

Now 20 states plus Washington, DC, average $ 5 or more. California remains the most expensive state in the state with an average of $ 6.42 a gallon. As of Thursday, 31% of the nation’s 130,000 gas stations were already selling more than $ 5 a gallon of gas.

The summer commute period is already running, and demand for gasoline is sending oil prices higher in global markets, with Russian oil shrinking due to the war in Ukraine.

According to Tom Cloza, global head of energy analysis for OPIS, which tracks gas prices for the AAA, the national average for gasoline may rise closer to $ 6 later this summer.

“Anything goes from June 20 to Labor Day,” Kloza said of the demand for gas as people took to the road for a long-awaited vacation. “Come to hell or high gas prices, people are going to take vacations,”

Although the United States never imports significant amounts of oil from Russia, goods are traded in global markets and Europe is heavily dependent on Russian exports. The EU’s recent decision to ban oil tanker shipments from Russia has skyrocketed in oil prices in those global markets.
Brent crude oil, the benchmark used in global markets, is now over $ 124 a barrel, down from $ 100 a month ago, and prices continued to rise in early trading on Friday. Goldman Sachs Brent crude is the standard for oil traded in Europe, at $ 140 per barrel between July and September, $ 125 per barrel from its previous call.
There are centers and states where gas is cheaper. About 15% of stations nationwide are still selling gas for less than $ 4.50 a gallon. But even in many states where gasoline is cheaper, such as Mississippi, drivers need to work longer to fill their tanks than some higher gas-priced states, such as California with lower average incomes.
Why $ 4.47 gas in Mississippi hurts more than $ 6.37 gas in California

How much are drivers willing to pay before deducting driving? So far in the last week of May, the number of gallons pumped into stations is only 5% lower than the same week a year ago, even when gas prices rose by more than 50%. According to Mobility Research Firm Inrix, the number of US trips by car has dropped by about 5% since the beginning of May, though those trips have increased by 5% since the beginning of the year.

Customers will cut other costs to drive the miles they want or need to drive, which may show some signs of weakness in the economy already.

– Matt Egan of CNN contributed to this report

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