New Year Brings Steady Increase in Gas Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — So far, 2021 is a year of higher gas prices.

Since Jan. 1, the national average has risen 13 cents to $2.38 per gallon. This is 5 cents higher than the previous week, but 17 cents less than one year ago, reported AAA.

The last time the United States saw a substantial pump price increase in January was in 2009, when the national average jumped 23 cents during the first three weeks of the year. At the time, U.S. gasoline demand and supply were lower, but crude oil prices had been increasing, similar to current conditions, according to AAA.

Gas prices have increased in recent weeks as crude oil prices have risen, reaching $53 per barrel in the last week. Recent Energy Information Administration reports show that gasoline demand is staying low.

"The higher price of crude is outweighing sustained low gasoline demand and a build in gasoline supply," said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson. "Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to climb through at least the end of the month."

Nearly all states saw prices increase week-over-week, and 14 states saw gas price averages rise at least 7 cents. All states are still paying less than they were one year ago, but the next few weeks could end that trend after 10 months.

The top 10 largest year-over-year price decreases occurred in Arizona (43 cents), Alaska (40 cents), Utah (37 cents), Wyoming (35 cents), Idaho (34 cents), Hawaii (34 cents), Oregon (32 cents), Washington (32 cents), Vermont (28 cents) and Colorado (28 cents).

The current top 10 least expensive markets are Mississippi ($2.08), Missouri ($2.10), Louisiana ($2.10), Oklahoma ($2.10), Texas ($2.12), Arkansas ($2.15), South Carolina ($2.16), Alabama ($2.17), Kansas ($2.18) and Tennessee ($2.18).