Tags: gas prices | opec | inflation

Gas Prices Rising Faster Than Usual This Year

Gas Prices Rising Faster Than Usual This Year
Gas prices at a Shell station in San Rafael, California (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 March 2024 09:28 AM EDT

While gas prices typically rise in the first half of the year, they are rising more in 2024 — and drivers are about to feel the pinch, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In the first months of the year, more Americans get back on the road and refiners move to less-polluting summer blends.

This year, however, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries  (OPEC) has cut production, U.S. sanctions against Russian oil continue, and Ukrainian drones have hammered key Russian refineries.

Additionally, U.S. oil refineries have been disrupted by winter storms, with their utilization dropping to less than 81% for two weeks in February.

All of this has pushed up the price of U.S. crude this year by 16% to $83.17 a barrel.

Unleaded gas cost $3.54 a gallon on average Friday, according to the AAA, up 3% from a year ago but 14% higher than at the start of the year.

Salt Lake City is one region that has seen the biggest increases in gas prices, up 61 cents in the past month to $3.77 a gallon. St. Louis has seen its gas rise 51 cents in the past month to an average of $3.44 a gallon. In Chicago, gas has risen 39 cents to $4.07.

Nic Malick and his family, of Kansas City, Mo., felt “road-trip rich” as recently as the beginning of the month.

Spending $80 a month on gas, the 36-year-old now says of joy riding, “With gas prices the way they are, it doesn’t make sense. When the price of gas goes up, everybody feels it.”

Higher gas prices are making inflation sticky. Gas and housing were responsible for more than 60% of the 3.2% rise in February’s consumer price index from a year earlier, according to the Labor Department — the first month since September that gas prices edged higher.

Wall Street analysts warn that gas prices have more room on the upside to run. The price of gas shipments set for delivery into New York Harbor next month is up 31% from the start of the year, higher than the average 20% increase in the past 25 years, according to FactSet.

“Even after the recent run up, we still see upside risk” for gasoline prices, Bank of America told clients in a recent note.

© 2024 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
While gas prices typically rise in the first half of the year, they are rising more in 2024 - and drivers are about to feel the pinch, The Wall Street Journal reports.
gas prices, opec, inflation
380
2024-28-29
Friday, 29 March 2024 09:28 AM
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