by Christopher Freeburn | February 4, 2013 1:19 pm
If you feel like your paying a fortune to fill your car’s gas tank, you’re right.
The AAA notes that the average price for a gallon of regular gas nationwide has rise from $3.30 a month ago, to $3.52 today. That’s four cents more than it was last year, a record high price for the start of February, CNBC notes.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. Energy Information Administration now says that American households spent an average of $2,912 on gasoline last year, about 4% of average household pre-tax income.
That means that U.S. households are paying the highest percentage of income for gas in almost 30 years. This comes even as gasoline consumption has fallen.
Gas prices fluctuate seasonally, decreasing as winter conditions reduce car travel and then rising again in early spring as driving conditions improve. This year, gas prices are rising ahead of the usual pattern due to closing refineries, as well as rising crude oil prices on world markets.
California is expected to see the worst of the price hikes, with the price of regular gas exceeding $4 a gallon.
Shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) and ConocoPhilips (NYSE:COP) fell about 1% in Monday midday trading, while shares of Valero (NYSE:VLO) rose about 1%.
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