U.S. gas prices for August could be the highest for the year

2 Aug 2017   Prices, USA

Peak summer demand and declining levels of supplies, both domestic and foreign, mean spikes in the price of gas for U.S. consumers, market analyses find.  Motor club AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.32 for Tuesday, up a fraction of a percent from Monday and 1.75 percent, or 4 cents per gallon, higher than last week. All but three states reports hikes in the price at the pump during the last week. e official summer driving season is nearing a peak and domestic inventories are moving lower, which means higher gasoline prices for the near future, AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said in a statement.  “As summer moves forward, the days of dropping summer gas prices appear to be behind us for now,” she said. “U.S. crude inventories are moving in the opposite direction of demand – a perfect storm for continued price increases heading into August.”  A July forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration put the average price per gallon for the summer driving season, which runs through September, at $2.38, about 7 percent, or 15 cents, higher than the average last summer.  The West Coast market is the most expensive in the country, with California holding the distinction as the state in the Lower 48 with the highest price at $2.94 per gallon, but were also more or less stable compared with last week. In its weekly retail market report, AAA found supply and demand were in check, as a breakdown at a Phillips 66 refinery was offset by a 200,000 barrel jump in gasoline inventories in the market.

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