Gas prices across the US have soared – rising 17 cents in just a week – as they hit another record high due to increasing demand and rising oil prices.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $4.37, AAA reported Tuesday.
This surpasses the prior record of $4.33 set on March 11. Drivers were paying $2.94 a gallon on average a year ago at this time.
Analysts say crude prices are unlikely to fall as long as the supply remains tight.
Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, says it now costs drivers in the United States an average of about $23 more to fill up than it did a year ago.
The record-setting numbers were released less than a week after a poll revealed that about 44 percent of Americans disapprove of how President Biden is handling the United States economy, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Gas prices across the US have soared – rising 17 cents in just a week – as they hit another record high due to increasing demand and rising oil prices
The record high price of $4.37 surpasses the prior record of $4.33 set on March 11. Drivers were paying $2.94 a gallon on average a year ago at this time
Analysts say crude prices are unlikely to fall as long as the supply remains tight
Biden plans to try to go on the offensive on the inflation issue by again tearing into ‘ultra MAGA’ Republicans on an issue that is shaping up as a liability for his party in the midterm elections.
Biden, who debuted his anti-MAGA pitch last week, will once again slam Wisconsin Republican Sen. Rick Scott over his plan to make sure every American has ‘skin in the game’ and pays at least some taxes.
‘Republicans love to use inflation as a political talking point, but does anyone have a clue what their plan is to bring down prices?’ said a White House official who asked not to be named.
Markets swooned this week after the Fed raised interest rates by half a percentage point in a bit to control inflation, with consumer prices 8 percent higher.
The abortion issue is shaping up as an X-factor in the elections, following the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. But Republicans are banking that voters will blame Biden and his party for record inflation on Biden’s watch.
According to a White House fact sheet: ‘President Biden has a plan to tackle inflation – by lowering costs that families face and lowering the federal deficit by asking the large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. Congressional Republicans, led by Senator Rick Scott, have called for a new minimum tax on the middle class – firefighters and teachers – that would mean an average of almost $1,500 less in families’ pockets each year.’
The new survey suggests Americans both disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy and rate it a top issue in the country — roughly six months before November’s midterm elections
Voters’ economic unease could potentially be a significant roadblock in Democrats’ efforts to retain control of Congress in November
It’s just one of several issues like immigration and the middle class that survey respondents are dissatisfied with Biden over
President Joe Biden has blamed soaring inflation on Vladimir Putin, after consumer price index hit another 40-year high
The cost of consumer goods rose a nationwide average of 8.5 percent in March, according to the most recently available Labor Department statistics, the highest since 1981.
It’s been compounded by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, now in its seventy-sixth day.
Last month’s inflation report, the first full picture of the war’s effect on the global supply chain, shows prices at the pump skyrocketed 49 percent.
Wednesday’s poll shows a whopping 77 percent of American voters believe the economy is poor — split between 47 percent who say it’s ‘somewhat poor’ and 30 percent who rated the economy as ‘very poor.’
And as the cost of everything from gas, rent, to energy, to food grows, so does voters’ impatience with Biden.
The consumer price index increased 8.5% in March from a year ago, a 41-year high
Refinery closures due to both scheduled maintenance and unplanned upsets have boosted fuel prices even as the United States and other nations have taken steps to boost worldwide crude supply.
Global fuel stockpiles are dwindling as demand has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Supplies tightened further following the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russia from the United States and allies.
The world has lost 1 million barrels of refining capacity and 1.5 million barrels of oil supply since the pandemic, estimated Mike Jennings, chief executive officer at HF Sinclair Corp in an earnings call on Monday.
‘That’s 2.5% of world consumption…it’s a big number,’ said Jennings.
In the spring, refiners prioritize gasoline output ahead of warmer weather when driving picks up. But in recent weeks, they have increased distillate output to meet jet fuel and diesel demand in Europe, Latin America and the United States, as Western sanctions on Moscow curtailed Russia’s exports.
‘On the refinery earnings calls, they’re talking about making sure they run at full steam – refinery utilization is going to stay very high throughout the year,’ said Gary Cunningham, director of market research at Tradition Energy.
Diesel fuel reached a record of $5.45 per gallon at the pump this week.
In the spring, refiners prioritize gasoline output ahead of warmer weather when driving picks up. A U.S. postal worker fills up his vehicle in Garden Grove, California in March 2022
Diesel prices over $6.50 a gallon are displayed at a Chevron gas station on May 2, 2022, in Mill Valley, California. Diesel fuel reached a record of an average $5.45 per gallon this week
Still, fuel prices in the United States remain substantially lower than in other major consumers like the UK, Japan and France, where higher taxes increase the cost of fuel.
‘I don’t see this resolving itself until 2023 at the earliest, when more refining capacity comes online in the Middle East and Asia,’ said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
The price of U.S. crude oil, the largest input cost for refiners, has fallen nearly $20 from highs reached in March, with supplies boosted by the release of millions of crude barrels from U.S. strategic reserves and demand dented by coronavirus lockdowns in China.
However, product inventories are still falling. U.S. gasoline inventories are down 3% year-on-year to 228.6 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
‘I think that we can expect, assuming the economies stay reasonably strong, that commodity prices and, particularly prices of our products, are going to be relatively high,’ Jennings said.