Average U.S. pump price tops $5 a gallon as summer travel surges

The average U.S. gasoline price soared above $5 a gallon for the first time as demand hit its highest level so far this year just over a week after the start of peak driving season.

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(Bloomberg) — The average U.S. gasoline price soared above $5 a gallon for the first time ever, as demand hit its highest level so far this year, a little more than a week after the start of the peak driving season.

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Prices at the pump hit $5.004 a gallon overnight in a sustained rally since mid-April, according to the AAA auto club. In California, the most expensive state to fill, prices can reach $6.43 per gallon.

Fuel costs have risen in recent months as global demand for refined products outpaced shrinking global capacity to manufacture them. The global shortage is exacerbated by efforts to avoid Russian oil after that country invaded Ukraine. In the United States, record prices at the pump are also a key driver of inflation, which is the highest in 40 years.

Despite high costs, Americans continued to hit the road over Memorial Day weekend, consuming 9.2 million barrels of gasoline a day and carrying the best gauge available for near-term demand at an all-time high. level since December, according to Energy Information. Administration.

Gasoline demand is still down about 1% from the same period last year and nearly 6% from the same period in 2019.

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