No Relief at the Pump: Gas Prices Could Hit $6 per Gallon

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  • The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline reached $5.01 on Monday, the highest average ever. 
  • Gas prices in the top 10 most expensive markets ranged from $6.43 in California to $5.21 in Michigan.
  • Oil inventory dropped last week while demand surged as the summer season ramps up. 

Gas hits an all-time high of $5.01 per gallon.

The national average price for gas hit an all-time high of $5 per gallon. According to AAA, the cost of a barrel of oil is over $120, nearly double last August's price. Oil demand still remains high as the summer season ramps up, outpacing supply. 

In fact, the national average for a gallon of gas has surged and is $0.15 higher from a week ago, $0.58 higher from a month ago, and $1.94 higher from a year ago. The national average on Monday hit $5.01 -- the highest ever seen since AAA began collecting pricing data in 2000.

Gas demand is still high

Gasoline demand grew last week from 8.98 million barrels a day to 9.2 million barrels a day. Supply of gasoline however dropped by 800,000 barrels during the same time period. The combination of lower supply and higher demand is leading to higher prices at the pump. The summer driving season is typically when gas demand increases. Despite the high cost of gas, drivers haven't changed their behaviors. 

"Based on the demand we're seeing, it seems high prices have not really deterred drivers," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. "If prices stay at or above $5, we may see people start to change their daily driving habits or lifestyle, but it hasn't happened yet."

The nation's top ten most expensive markets

According to AAA, the nation's top 10 most expensive markets as of Monday, June 13, are:

  • California: $6.43
  • Nevada: $5.65
  • Alaska: $5.56
  • Illinois: $5.56
  • Washington: $5.54
  • Hawaii: $5.53
  • Oregon: $5.53
  • Indiana: $5.52
  • Arizona: $5.31
  • Michigan: $5.21

What options do drivers have?

The current level of crude oil supply is still approximately 12% lower than a year ago, contributing to rising crude prices. Crude prices could rise further this week if the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) next report shows an inventory decline. 

With gas prices reaching record levels, you may be feeling a strain on your budget. Driving more efficiently and keeping your car in shape can save you up to $2,000 in fuel costs per year. Using a budgeting app might help you find some wiggle room in your spending to cut costs. 

But if gas is a big expense in your household, you might want to look into a credit card with cash back rewards for gas purchases to see if you can save a little money. Many gas station chains also offer loyalty programs. These rewards and loyalty programs can help offset the increase in gas prices. 

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