AAA: Gas prices hover at 6-month highs


May 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Motorists saw very little shift in prices at the pump last week as oil prices seemed to stabilize. Officials with AAA (Triple A) say gas prices are hovering at their highest levels in more than six months, and the national average has remained above $2 per gallon for 46 consecutive days.  As of Sunday, the National average was $2.21, while the average in Iowa was $2.13/gallon.

 Gail Weinholzer, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group, says “Gasoline demand continues to break seasonal records as low prices motivate people to drive more. Refineries have ramped-up production to meet the increased demand, which helps to balance prices at the pump. Volatility in both gas and oil prices are expected in the short term, but barring any unforeseen price spikes or fuel shortages, gas prices should peak within the next month or two, like they did last year.”

Looking ahead…
•Summer drivers could find the lowest seasonal gas prices in more than a decade.
•Demand for gasoline is nearly 6 percent higher than a year ago.
•National prices at the pump are 45 cents lower than a year ago and $1.46 lower than two years ago
•The average motorist saves $22 for a full tank of gas compared to two years ago.
•National gas prices averaged $2.22 last week – 5 cents more than the 7-day average the week before.

Consumer Attitudes
The lower price environment for gas prices has not only led to drivers taking to the roads at record levels, but is also shifting attitudes about various price points. Attitudes towards gas prices have changed significantly over the past few years, according to a new survey by AAA:

  • Half of U.S. drivers now believe gas is “too high” at $2.50 per gallon. This figure has dropped significantly in relationship to the price of gas. As recently as 2014, half of Americans believed gas was “too high” at $3.30 per gallon, while last year half of Americans believed it was “too high” at $3 per gallon. Only nine percent of U.S. stations are selling gas for more than $2.50 per gallon today.
    •More than 35 percent of Americans believe that gas is “too high” based on today’s average price, even though gas prices are at the lowest levels since 2009. The vast majority of Americans also do not believe that gas is “cheap” today.