Price of gas going up; national average highest since mid-March

Posted at 11:47 AM, Dec 29, 2020

The price of a gallon of gas, on average across the country, is the highest it’s been since stay-at-home orders were first issued in mid-March. However, it is still below 2019 prices.

At least 20 states reported weekly increases of nearly three cents last week, according to AAA, bumping the national average for a gallon of gas to $2.25. And December overall saw steady gains in price.

“December has seen the biggest pump price jump of any month this year, ending with a national average 11 cents higher than it began,” AAA spokesman Jeanette Casselano McGee, said in a statement. “Despite low demand, pump prices are more expensive because crude oil has seen steady gains.”

The price of crude oil hit record lows toward the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic as global travel stopped, and has slowly crept back up.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is now at its highest level since February. Combine that with a growing optimism the economy will recover soon as the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed, and gas prices are pushing higher.

Even though prices are higher, they are still below what they were in 2019 at this time. The national average this week is three cents more than last week, 13 cents more than last month, and 32 cents cheaper than last year.

Drivers can expect gas prices to continue to climb up in the coming weeks.

Gas remains cheapest in the southeast region of the country, with Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and South Carolina having the cheapest average price, all under $2 a gallon.