Last month, consumer costs spiked the most in more than three years — as seen in Friday’s CPI report — thanks in large part to rising prices at the pump. Around three-quarters of the 0.7% seasonally adjusted gain was attributable to the 9.1% gain in gasoline prices.
On top of that, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is still sitting at the same level as a month ago: $3.69. Looking at premium prices makes the picture even less promising. Premium fuel, which is recommended or required for nearly one-third of this year’s car models, now costs around 30 cents more than regular thanks to a glut of ethanol. That’s a far wider gap than usual.
The good news, though, is that regular gas prices did decline the four months before February’s spike and are expected to begin declining again soon. Plus, the current price of $3.69 is still a penny lower than it was a week ago and significantly lower than the $3.83 cost it sported at the same time a year ago.
Things also vary depending on where you’re pumping. As usual, prices are the worst in hard-to-reach states like Hawaii and Alaska, and the clean-energy focused state of California. On the other end of the spectrum, Utah, Montana and Wyoming remain the cheapest locales.
Below is a state-by-state roster of average gas prices from AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, listed from most to least expensive:
|New York||$3.935||North Carolina||$3.683||Mississippi||$3.528|
|Oregon||$3.780||New Hampshire||$3.657||New Mexico||$3.499|
|West Virginia||$3.758||South Dakota||$3.596||Utah||$3.393|