The national average for a gallon of gasoline in the United States hit $4.60 on Monday, just over a week ahead of Memorial Day weekend, when record numbers of Americans are expected to hit the road despite soaring prices at the pumps.
While Memorial Day weekend is still expected to record numbers of people driving, if gas hits $5 a gallon as a national average, some 75% of U.S. adults say they would change their driving habits or lifestyle, according to a recent AAA study.
The national average per gallon rose to $4.596 on Monday, up from $4.593 on Tuesday, and up from $4.483 a week ago, according to AAA. A year ago, the national average was $3.039 per gallon.
Prices in California, where gas is the most expensive, hit $6.069 on Monday, up from $5.903 a week ago.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance, KPMG Global Head of Energy Regina Mayor said there was a “confluence of pressures with significantly restricted supply and demand that continues to go up”.
Yet, despite soaring prices at the pump, available data shows that Americans drove 3% more in March this year than they did in March 2019, “so we’re not seeing the typical reduction in demand that sometimes these high-price environments can lead to,” she said.
Mayor expected record-high gasoline prices to continue through June, with potential easing toward the later summer period.
Berkeley Energy Institute analyst Severin Borenstein told CBS News that we aren’t likely to see $2 or even $3 gasoline prices anytime soon.
"I think that the reality is we are in for higher gas prices, certainly through the summer and probably through the end of this year, possibly gradually going lower. But we're not going to see $2 or $3 gasoline even in the near future," said Borenstein.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com