There’s been no Spring Break for motorists this month, as prices at the pump continue to climb.
Nationally, as of Thursday, April 4, the average price at the pump has reached $2.72 per gallon, a three-cent increase from last week and up 29 cents from a month ago, according to AAA. The current price is six cents higher than last year.
“Three months ago motorists could find gas for less than $2.50 at 78 percent of gas stations. Today, you can only find gas for that price at one-third of stations, which is likely giving sticker shock to motorists across the country,” AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano said. “Gasoline stocks have been steadily decreasing since early February causing spikes at the pump that are likely to continue for the coming weeks.”
On the week, 26 states saw gas prices increase a nickel or more with states in the West Coast, Great Lakes and Central region seeing the largest jumps. Despite the latest weekly increases, nearly two dozen states still have cheaper year-over-year averages.
New Yorkers are paying an average of $2.75 per gallon, up two cents from a week ago and 21 cents up from a month ago. Westchester motorists are paying the second-highest average per gallon in the state ($2.92), followed by Rockland ($2.87); Putnam ($2.81); Dutchess ($2.74) and Orange ($2.70).
In Connecticut, motorists are paying an average of $2.72 per gallon, up one cent from a week ago and 20 cents from a month ago, led by Fairfield County at $2.81 per gallon.
While prices are on the rise, AAA Northeast spokeswoman Fran Mayko said that the numbers should ultimately level out and should not peak as high as they did during last summer’s driving season.
“Cheaper crude oil prices have helped keep pump prices lower this winter,” she noted.“While we’re seeing the national average increasing now, spring pump prices for most motorists throughout the nation aren’t expected to reach last May’s average of nearly $3 a gallon.”
Mayko noted that the rise in prices was expected, as refineries begin transitioning from their winter to summer blend of gasoline.
“In the US, we’re also converting to the more expensive, environmentally friendly summer blends, while on the global front OPEC plans to cut production through late June to balance the market in their favor. All these factors are causing pump prices to rise across the country.”
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