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San Diego’s Consumer Prices Rise As Gas Prices Jump  

Consumer prices in the San Diego area in California increased by 3.8 percent over the past 12 months to the end of May 2019, mainly due to the higher price of gasoline, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the two months ending May 2019, consumer prices in the San Diego area rose by 1.0 percent, chiefly influenced by higher prices for gasoline and household furnishings and operations, BLS’ Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations, Richard Holden, said in the consumer price index report for the area this week.

The energy index in the San Diego area jumped 11.4 percent for the two months ending in May 2019, largely driven by higher prices for gasoline which surged by 19.7 percent, the statistics showed. Prices for natural gas service decreased 7.4 percent, and prices for electricity declined 0.7 percent for the same period.  

Over the 12 months to May 2019, energy prices jumped by 5.5 percent, largely due to, again, higher prices for gasoline, which rose by 7.5 percent.

California as a whole pays the highest price at the pump natiowide, at $3.838 per gallon as of June 14, according to AAA.

At the start of May, gas prices in California averaged statewide more than $4 per gallon, while the national average was closing in on $3 a gallon. Gas prices rose in April and early May due to the rally in oil prices. In recent weeks, however, the price of crude oil on international markets has slumped by around $10 a barrel due to fears of slowing oil demand growth, leading to lower prices at the pump.

At the start of this week, nearly every state’s gas price average was cheaper than a week ago, a month ago, and a year ago, AAA said, expecting prices to further drop as the summer driving season begins.

“Prices are dropping due to cheaper crude oil and at the same time U.S. supply is keeping pace with demand,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said on Monday. “The national average is poised to fall to at least $2.70 this week – an indication that pump prices may be even cheaper this summer.”

While right now even California motorists see some relief at the pump, they may feel some pain later in the summer as the state’s gas tax is set to increase by another 6 cents a gallon beginning July 1.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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