The AAA said today that the average U.S. price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 5.2% last week, the fastest growth spurt in nearly two years, and added $0.174 to a the price of a gallon of gasoline. Monday’s price was $3.52 a gallon, compared with $3.299 a month ago and $3.48 a year ago.
Prices have risen for 18 straight days as crude prices rise and refineries tool up for the switch to summer blends. AAA sees prices rising more slowly later this month, for a total monthly increase below last year’s rise of $0.29.
Crude prices fell sharply today, down about 1.6% to less than $97 a barrel for WTI. More concern about global economic growth, a stronger dollar, and the reduced mileage driven by U.S. motorists all contributed to today’s price slide. Unfortunately it takes longer for a dip in the price of crude to show up in gasoline prices than it does for a rise to show up. Surprised?