DAYTON — Although the price at the pump in 38 states and the District of Columbia has remained relatively stable over the past seven days, consumers in Ohio (+10 cents), Indiana (+8 cents) and Michigan (+8 cents) are experiencing a bit of sticker-shock at the pump due to week-over-week price increases that are the highest in the nation. Over the last several years Midwestern gas prices have regularly been the most volatile in the country as refinery issues, supply bottlenecks and logistical issues have caused sometimes dramatic fluctuations.
Tuesday the average price for gasoline in the Miami Valley area was $3.93 per gallon, 13 cents higher than a week ago, and 31 cents more than a month ago.
AAA expects gas prices to remain relatively high during the summer driving season as millions of Americans take long road trips to destinations nationwide. AAA predicts the national average price of gas this summer likely will vary from $3.55 to $3.70 per gallon. Major refinery disruptions, geopolitical concerns or a damaging hurricane season could send prices higher than forecast.
“While it is impossible to predict the exact price of gasoline, we can guarantee that millions of Americans will pay high prices as they hit the roads this summer,” said Cindy Antrican, AAA spokeswoman. “Expect a feeling of déjà vu with gasoline costing about the same as last summer. After such a long, brutal winter, it seems that many drivers took advantage of the great weather in May. Significantly stronger than expected gasoline demand has kept prices high heading into the summer driving season.”
Peak gasoline demand generally occurs during the summer and gas prices often tick higher from Independence Day through August during the height of the summer driving. AAA expects this trend to remain true this year. In 2013, average gasoline consumption from June through August was about five percent higher than during other months of the year. Americans drove an estimated 788 billion miles during this period last year, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Drivers can stop by any area AAA office to pick up a free copy of the AAA Gas Watcher’s Guide to learn more about tips for conserving fuel and saving money at the pump.