Average Gas Price Hits $3.61 per Gallon and Will Keep Rising Despite Inflation Ease

By Thea Felicity

May 15, 2024 12:14 PM EDT

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A gas pump is seen situated into a vehicle at a Shell gas station on August 03, 2023 in Austin, Texas.
(Photo : Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Gasoline prices experienced a notable increase in April, contributing to upward pressure on consumer prices, even as overall inflation eased, according to Yahoo Finance.

In particular, the average price of gas rose by 2.8% compared to the prior month, following a 1.5% increase in March, reflecting the upward trend in oil prices throughout the year. 

Despite recent stability, pump prices have surged due to refinery interruptions and higher oil costs.

Data shows that the national average for gasoline was $3.61 per gallon on Wednesday, a $0.02 decrease from the previous month but a cumulative increase of over $0.40 since the beginning of the year. 

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Gas Price vs Consumer Price

Gasoline and shelter expenses were the primary drivers behind the 0.3% rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in April, accounting for more than 70% of the overall increase. 

Over the past year, gas prices increased by 1.2%, while the headline CPI surged by 3.4%. Additionally, the energy index rose by 1.1% in April, with energy costs up by 2.6% compared to the previous year. 

Meanwhile, the fuel oil index increased by 0.9%, natural gas prices declined by 2.9%, and electricity costs fell by 0.1% from the prior month. 

Despite a decrease in natural gas prices in April due to a surplus following a milder-than-expected winter, prices have rebounded in recent weeks. 

US crude futures have moderated from their peak in April amid a reduction in geopolitical risks. West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) crude traded slightly above $78 per barrel on Wednesday, and Brent (BZ=F) crude, the international benchmark, traded above $82 per barrel on Wednesday, May 15. The $80 price was slightly increased on May 1, per VCPost.

Analysts anticipate that the oil alliance OPEC+ will extend output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day beyond June. A meeting is scheduled for the beginning of next month.

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