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Average U.S. gas price hits $4.60, continuing string of new daily records

Average U.S. gas price hits $4.60, continuing string of new daily records
The average U.S. price for a gallon of gasoline hit another record high Monday, continuing a string of daily records that began May 10. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 23 (UPI) -- Gas prices remained at record highs across the United States on Monday, continuing a weeks-long string of new daily standards in the run-up to the Memorial Day holiday weekend, AAA reported.

The national average price of gas reached $4.596 per gallon, up slightly from Sunday's average of $4.593, prolonging a run of new daily records that began on May 10 with an average price of $4.33, the automotive group said in a release.

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The nationwide average is $1.05 higher than it was on Feb. 24 when Russia invaded Ukraine, AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said.

"That sent shock waves through the oil market that have kept oil costs elevated," he said. "Domestically, meanwhile, seasonal gas demand is rising as more drivers hit the road, despite the pain they face paying at the pump."

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The average price of gas in all 50 states remained above $4 per gallon. Alaska posted the biggest one-week price increase (31 cents), followed by Michigan, Indiana and New York (18 cents each).

Higher demand ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, coupled with tighter supplies, have continued to push gas prices to record highs. Gas stocks fell by 4.8 million barrels to 220.2 million barrels last week while demand bumped up from 8.7 million barrels per day to 9 million b/d, the Energy Information Administration reported.

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AAA predicted last week that 39 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home during the holiday -- a jump of 8.3% over 2021. If correct, it would bring travel volumes almost in line with those of 2017.

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Volatile crude oil prices are also playing a role in the price spikes.

"We may see prices even going higher, being much more volatile and becoming a major risk for recession for the global economy," International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol told Bloomberg TV from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He warned energy prices are likely to surge higher once an embargo on Russian oil is agreed to by all 27 European Union governments.

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