Prices may decline early in the month and then rise again as summer travel increases.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — During the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend, gas prices remained fairly steady, with the national average increasing just 1 cent to $3.04, and the majority of states seeing no price changes or a price decline on the week.
However, this period of stability may not last long.
For the week ending May 21, demand jumped to 9.4 million barrels per day, the highest reported number since early March 2020 and nearly 30 percent higher than the same week last year, according to AAA. This indicates that U.S. drivers are filling up their vehicles more frequently.
"Gasoline supply and demand levels are looking more like typical summer numbers as demand has steadily jumped week-over-week since the end of April and supply declines. The increasing demand and decreasing supply combined with more expensive crude oil prices mean gas prices are likely to fluctuate throughout June," said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. "We could see some decreases early in the month and increases mid-month as the school year ends and summer travel increases."
For the month of May, gas averaged $3 per gallon, which is just 11 cents more than the national averages for the same month in 2018 and 2019.
The current national average is $1.05 more than one year ago and 15 cents more than one month ago. With a more than $3 per gallon average at the start of June, this month could prove to be the most expensive average in years, AAA said.
The nation's top 10 largest weekly changes occurred in Michigan (+9 cents), Indiana (+6 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Illinois (+5 cents), Kentucky (+4 cents), California (+4 cents), Oklahoma (-4 cents), South Carolina (-3 cents), Texas (-3 cents) and Nebraska (-3 cents).
The top 10 least expensive markets are Louisiana ($2.70 per gallon), Mississippi ($2.70), Texas ($2.70), Oklahoma ($2.71), Missouri ($2.71), Arkansas ($2.75), Kansas ($2.81), Alabama ($2.81), South Carolina ($2.82) and Minnesota ($2.83).