The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline has gone above $5 across the country for the first time due to the increased demand from the economy reopening following the pandemic and depleted oil supplies as a result of the war in Ukraine.
And now analysts say the prices look set to continue rising into the summer months.
The average national price of a gallon of gas reached $5.004 on Saturday, AAA reported. That’s a significant increase from about $3.07 a year ago and a record price that was not adjusted for inflation.
At the end of the week, prices had already averaged $5 or more in about 20 states, with the highest prices coming from the West Coast.
“By my calculations, the typical household is spending about $160 more on the gas a month than a year ago,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “That’s a big bite.”
Gasoline is in shorter supply than it normally is since the U.S. has lost about 1 million barrels a day of refining capacity, and this was before the pandemic.
At the same time, sanctions on Russian energy have also sent oil prices sharply higher and created tight supplies of oil and fuel worldwide.