Gas prices continue to increase around the country according to AAA with prices jumping 4-cents this past week with a new national average of $2.88. Meanwhile, in California, the average price is at $4.08 per gallon.
According to AAA:
One week after the U.S. State Department announced the end of waivers for countries to import oil from Iran, increasing crude oil prices and pump prices show no signs of slowing down. With a four-cent jump on the week, today’s national gas price average sets a new high for the year at $2.88. This average may only be seven cents more than a year ago, but it is nearly 20 cents more than a month ago and 63-cents more expensive than at the beginning of the year.
“Compared to the beginning of this year, motorists have definitely felt an increasing squeeze on their wallets at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “These increases mean Americans are having to work more to afford to fill-up their gas tanks. AAA found that Americans must work 22% longer than at the start of the year to buy one gallon of unleaded gasoline- that’s 7.3 minutes compared to 5.76 minutes in January.
Working with OPIS, AAA identified the median income for each county in the country broken down to an income by minute assuming a 40-hour workweek. The average gasoline price today was compared to the income per minute finding that counties in the Southeast have been hit the hardest, especially in some parts of Kentucky For example, in McCreary County, some workers are working an additional 4 minutes when compared to January in order to buy a gallon of gasoline.
With 17 states within a dime of or already at $3/gal or more, Americans can expect the national average to likely surpass 2018’s high of $2.97 set during Memorial Day weekend,” added Casselano.
Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($4.08) and Hawaii ($3.62) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.51), Nevada ($3.43), Oregon ($3.40), Alaska ($3.36) and Arizona ($3.12) follow. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with Alaska and Nevada seeing the largest gains at nine cents each.
The EIA’s recent weekly report for the week ending on April 19 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell for a sixth consecutive week by approximately 300,000 bbl from the previous week and now sit at 27.9 million bbl. If ongoing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance continues throughout the region, the West Coast may see continued price volatility and shrinking gasoline stocks.