Gasoline sets a new all-time high title over the weekend that marks the beginning of America’s summer driving season
US retail gasoline prices hit a new all-time high just in time for the traditional start of the American summer driving season, the Memorial Day weekend.
According to the AAA Motor Club, pump prices for regular-grade gasoline rose to 60 4.60 per gallon on Thursday and held close to that level on Friday. Benchmark U.S. fuel prices rose 51% last year and more than 90% since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.
Motorists are feeling the pinch of price even more intensely in some high-priced states. In California, for example, petrol set a new all-time high of about 0 6.08 per gallon on Friday. Hawaii and Washington also set new state records, averaging 43 5.43 per gallon and 22 5.22 per gallon, respectively.
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Diesel prices are even higher, averaging $ 5.53 per gallon nationwide on Friday, one nickel less than the all-time high of $ 5.57 set last week. Rising diesel costs will wave through the U.S. economy, economists warn, as the fuel is used for trucks and trains that supply most consumer goods and for farm equipment that produces American food.
“People should be very concerned.” Veteran energy economist Philip Verlager Jr. told the Los Angeles Times. He predicted earlier this month that diesel prices could reach 10 per gallon by the end of this summer. “Unimaginably high levels are missing a significant economic downturn.”
Biden blamed Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine for fuel price hikes, while Republican critics pointed to his administration’s actions, including blocking a major pipeline project, delaying drilling permits and suspending leases for exploration of federal land. In March, Biden banned US imports of Russian oil to punish Moscow for the Ukraine conflict.
Fuel demand usually increases during the summer months as Americans take longer vacations when children are out of school, usually starting on Memorial Day weekend. The AAA estimates that about 35 million Americans will travel by road this weekend, and more than 3 million will travel by air.
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However, U.S. fuel demand has slowed in recent weeks as consumers have stopped driving with the highest inflation in 40 years. Demand for gasoline on Thursday, the day before the holiday weekend, rose just 4.3% from a week earlier, according to data from GasBuddy. Patrick de Haan, head of gasbody’s petroleum analysis, called for profit “Very weak” And an indication that “Demand is falling on Memorial Day weekend.” De Han predicted 7-10% seasonal growth.