For many people, $5 per gallon for gas represents a psychological price barrier. Parts of California — along with Washington, Nevada, and Hawaii — are already seeing $5-plus gas prices, while the average price of regular unleaded in Oregon is hovering at $4.99, according to AAA.
Early on the morning of May 17, the national average gas price was roughly $4.52 — up 4 cents from just one day prior. The AAA website said that nearly every state in the U.S. is already seeing prices above $4 per gallon, with Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma still within the $3 per gallon range.
“We are well on our way toward $5,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, said to CNN.
Gas prices typically jump during Memorial Day weekend. People take to the roads, traveling to beaches and tourist spots — and visiting family and friends — during the long weekend to celebrate the unofficial start of summer.
As the holiday weekend approaches, gas prices are nearly 53 cents higher than they were one month ago, and 15 cents more than they were a week ago. They are 27% higher than they were the day before Russia invaded Ukraine, CNN reported.
“Prices later this week could be closer to $5 per gallon than $4, as demand continues to edge higher and inventories of both gasoline and diesel continue to decline, temperatures warm and motorists get back outside, and we near the Memorial Day weekend — the start of the summer driving season,” GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan told WTHR.
As high as gas prices are right now, they have not broken records when adjusted for inflation. In June 2008, prices averaged $5.38 per gallon when adjusted for inflation, CNN said.
Even so, consumers continue to feel the sting, especially when high gas prices are coupled with overall inflation of 8.3% over the past twelve months, according to the latest Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Which states are experiencing the highest gas prices right now? The West Coast is experiencing the highest average prices, with California leading the pack at $6.02 per gallon. Hawaii comes in second at $5.34. Prices in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska hover just over the $5 mark. These states are trailed by Washington D.C. at $4.86, Arizona at $4.81, Illinois at $4.84, and New York at $4.80.
If you plan to travel this holiday weekend, you may consider topping off your tank earlier in the week, if possible. You can also improve your gas mileage by making sure your tires have optimal air pressure and getting a tune-up before your trip.
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