Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The national price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States should stay within a steady range even as demand pressures increase, GasBuddy reported Monday.
Price-reporting company GasBuddy listed a national average retail price for a gallon of gasoline at $2.35 for Monday, the highest level since June. The company said this week marks the third in a row for an increase in retail gas prices, a trend that loosely matches crude oil. The price for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, has been on the rise, but remains just below the psychological threshold of $50 per barrel.
Patrick DeHaan, a senior analyst for GasBuddy, said the price at the pump mirrors crude oil prices, which have been driven by higher demand and concerns about the political crisis in Venezuela, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"Looking behind us however, gas prices have remained in a relatively tight range for the last year, staying within a 30 cent wide range," he said in an emailed report. "While we're likely to see gas prices continuing to move higher in the week ahead as they catch up to oil, we're unlikely to break out of the well-established rut in the national average which has kept prices between $2.12 and $2.42 for the last 15 months."
Four states shared honors in posting the highest spike in gasoline prices from last week, with Georgia, Iowa, New Jersey and South Carolina experiencing an increase of 7 cents per gallon. Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina have the lowest state average in the country at $2.09 per gallon, according to GasBuddy's accounting.
Supply and demand are contributing factors for retail gasoline prices. The federal government reported a drop in gasoline inventories last week and there's about a month left before the end of the official summer travel season.