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.
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,”
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