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Average US Pump Price Tops $5 a Gallon as Summer Travel Ramps Up

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The average price of gasoline in the US climbed above $5 a gallon for the first time ever as demand jumped to the highest level so far this year just over a week into the peak driving season.

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(Bloomberg) — The average price of gasoline in the US climbed above $5 a gallon for the first time ever as demand jumped to the highest level so far this year just over a week into the peak driving season.

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Pump prices rose to $5.004 a gallon overnight in a sustained rally since mid-April, according to auto club AAA. In California, the most expensive state to fill up, prices are as high as $6.43 a gallon. 

Fuel costs have risen in recent months as global demand for refined products exceeded the world’s shrinking capacity to make them. The overall shortage is exacerbated by the effort to sidestep oil from Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. In the US, record pump prices are also a main driver of inflation, which is the highest in 40 years.

Despite the elevated costs, Americans still hit the road over the Memorial Day weekend, consuming 9.2 million barrels a day of gasoline in the process and bringing the best available gauge for short-term demand to its highest level since December, according to the Energy Information Administration. 

Gasoline demand is still down by around 1% from this time last year and nearly 6% from the same period in 2019.



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