Soaring Demand Pushes Gas Prices to Highest Level in Four Years

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Soaring Demand Pushes Gas Prices to Highest Level in Four Years

While today's gas price average is 1 cent more than last week, it is the same price as one month ago, yet 52 cents more than this time last year.

NATIONAL REPORT — Gas demand hit near an all-time record high as inventories tightened at the end of June to the end of July. The boost in demand and drop in inventory have driven the national gas price average to $2.87, which is the most expensive gas price seen in August since 2014.

"We are likely going to see an end of summer pump price rally as inventories continue to tighten, especially on the East Coast," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. "This week's EIA [Energy Information Administration] demand and inventory reports will give further indication of how much higher the national gas price average could jump before summer is over."

Prices By region

Motorists on the West Coast are paying some of the highest pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.76), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.37), Oregon ($3.28), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.91). When compared to last week, most gas prices in the region are down or flat, but Hawaii and Arizona saw the largest drops at 1 cent each.

The Top 10 Most Expensive Markets

  1. Hawaii ($3.76)

  2. California ($3.62)

  3. Washington ($3.40)

  4. Alaska ($3.37)

  5. Oregon ($3.28)

  6. Nevada ($3.20) 

  7. Idaho ($3.15) 

  8. Utah ($3.08)

  9. Connecticut ($3.07)

  10. Pennsylvania ($3.06)

In the Great Lakes and Central U.S., Michigan’s gas price average dropped quite a bit on the week (8 cents), unlike most states in the country. Now, Michigan ($2.92) has fallen from the most expensive Great Lakes and Central state to the second spot behind Illinois ($2.94).

With the exception of Michigan, Kentucky (down 2 cents) and Kansas (down 1 cent), all state gas price averages in the Great Lakes and Central region are more expensive compared to last Monday. The largest jumps on the week were Minnesota (3 cents), Wisconsin (2 cents) Illinois (2 cents) and South Dakota (2 cents).

For a second week, pump prices are on the rise in the South and Southeast. With a 6-cent increase, Georgia ($2.78) has the largest jump of any state in the country while South Carolina (3 cents) was the ninth largest. Arkansas ($2.59), Texas ($2.63) and New Mexico ($2.75) were the only states in the region to see prices hold steady on the week.

The Top 10 Largest Monthly Changes

  1. New Mexico (-11 cents)
  2. Arizona (-10 cents)
  3. Delaware (+9 cents)
  4. Utah (-7 cents)
  5. South Carolina (+6 cents)
  6. Georgia (+5 cents)
  7. Nevada (-5 cents)
  8. Colorado (-5 cents)
  9. Kentucky (-5 cents)
  10. Alabama (+4 cents)

Year-over-year, gas prices in Georgia and Louisiana are more expensive in the South and Southeast at 54 and 45 cents, respectively.

Five Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region states land on this week’s top 10 largest jumps: Delaware (6 cents), Tennessee (4 cents), North Carolina (3 cents), Maryland (3 cents) and Pennsylvania (2 cents). Rhode Island (1 cent) was the only state to see a decrease at the pump while many other states’ averages held steady on the week: West Virginia ($2.86), Massachusetts ($2.90), Washington, D.C. ($3.05) and Connecticut ($3.07).

Motorists in Delaware ($2.83) are feeling the biggest pain at the pump. Compared to this time last month, gas prices are 9 cents more expensive for the state. That is the largest month-over-month gas price difference not only for the region, but also the country.

Pump prices in the Rockies region are mostly trending higher on the week following declines last week: Idaho (up 4 cents), Colorado (up 1 cent) and Montana (up 1 cent). Utah’s state average dropped 1 cent to $3.08 while Wyoming held at $2.94.

National Gas Price Averages 2015-2018
The national gas price average is $2.87 — the most expensive gas price seen in August since 2014.

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