With the down economy every penny counts and the rising gas prices seen this month in California doesn’t help those who are trying to stay afloat with little money to spare.
According to the American Automobile Association’s latest report, California’s gas prices are up eight cents since last month’s report on Sept. 14 making the state’s average gas prices the third highest in all 50 states at $3.10 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline.
“The price at the pump is largely being driven by oil investors,” said Matt Skryja, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “They are looking for signs that the economy is improving. An improving economy typically leads to a rise in the demand for oil and gas.”
The recent increase in the price of crude oil is also a factor of the rising gas prices, according to AAA. Crude oil remains above $82 per barrel in a short-term trend that also shows a relative weakness of the dollar. A weak dollar makes crude oil cheaper for those using other currencies to purchase it.
Another factor is the recent rise in investor anticipation of a government policy to infuse financial institutions with capital in order to promote increased lending, says AAA. Investors feel that this increase could lead to increased demand for oil and gasoline.
And with an increased demand for oil and gasoline, it shows a better economy on the way.
“The better the economy is looking, the more oil they buy,” Skryja said. “That drives up the price at the pump. Oil prices are traded in U.S. dollars and the recent weakness of the dollar has also helped to make oil a more attractive investment, as buyers can get more for their money.”
So far, Northern California gas prices are averaging about $3.11 per gallon, which is up nine cents from last month, according to the AAA recent report. The national average price is up nine cents to $2.81 per gallon, which is 33 cents more than the national price compared to last year when it was $2.48.
The least expensive average price for gasoline in Northern California is in Marysville for $3.02 and the highest in Northern California is in Eureka at $3.36, according to the AAA. Eureka’s gas prices are also the highest in the lower 48 states.
The least expensive gasoline prices in the country are found in Greenville, S.C. at $2.60 per gallon and the most expensive is found in Wailuku, Hawaii at $3.82 per gallon, according to the AAA report.
Marysville and Pleasanton saw the largest gasoline price increases this month, up 12 cents from last month. Washington, D.C. had the largest gasoline price increase at 15 cents up from last year.
AAA suggests consumers shop aggressively for the lowest local gas prices. The lowest gas prices found in Turlock are located at Costco off of Monte Vista Avenue at $2.83 per gallon, followed by Safeway off of Monte Vista Avenue at $2.86 per gallon, Quick Stop off of Monte Vista Avenue at $2.99 per gallon and Chevron on Glenwood Avenue at $3.15 per gallon.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.