(The Center Square) — The average price of a gallon of gasoline is making a steady march toward $5, a threshold 9 states, including Washington, already have breached.
Overnight, gas prices spiked another six cents nationwide, according to AAA. American motorists are paying on average $4.82 a gallon as of Saturday. A week ago, the average was $4.60, but prices have only risen every day since then.
Motorists in 9 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington – are now paying more than $5 a gallon.
If recent trends continue – and there’s no reason to think they won’t – several other states will join the $5 club soon, including Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and others.
A month ago, the average cost of a gallon of gas across the US was $4.23. A year ago, it was $3.05. Prices have risen $1.77 a gallon on average since then.
Diesel gas prices also hit a new record Saturday, reaching a national average price of $5.62. Rising energy costs are in part driving 40-year-high inflation, where the cost of everything from food to clothing to other household items are rising.
As gas prices rise, consumer consumption is dropping. Consumption has declined at a rate of 3% to 5% the past seven weeks, according to DataTrek, suggesting that the high costs are affecting consumer’s behavior.