Gasoline prices top $5 a gallon nationally for the first time and are likely headed higher


  • Gasoline prices hit a national average of $5 per gallon on Saturday and are set to move higher.
  • The jump in gasoline prices means households are spending about $160 more per month on fuel than they were a year ago.
A sign reflects the price per gallon of fuel at a gas station on March 10, 2022 in Miami, Florida.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline rose above $5 nationally for the first time due to increased demand from the economy reopening from the pandemic and depleted oil supplies stemming in part from the war in Ukraine.

Prices look set to continue rising into the summer months, analysts said.

According to AAA, the average national price reached $5.004 on Saturday. That’s up from about $3.07 a year ago and a record price not adjusted for inflation. At the end of the week, prices had already averaged $5 or more in about 20 states, with the highest prices on the West Coast.

“By my calculations, the typical household is spending about $160 more on gas a month than a year ago,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “That’s a big bite.”

Gasoline prices normally peak in mid-May, but this year they have continued to rise and the average price is about 65 cents higher than a month ago. Due to short supplies this year, analysts are forecasting that prices may not top out until mid-July, when summer driving season traditionally peaks.

“I don’t think we’re far away” from the highest prices, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “I don’t think it would eclipse $5.50. I would say $5.25 is the top, but again, the market is unhinged.”
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