A 99-day streak of declining gas prices in the U.S. came to an end Wednesday, according to AAA, with the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rising nearly a cent as concerns grow about an escalation of the war in Ukraine, economic troubles and hurricane threats.
The average price for a gallon of gas is now $3.68, per AAA, slightly up from Tuesday’s months-long low of just over $3.67.
The national increase is largely driven by western states, like Arizona, where the average price spiked more than seven cents a gallon from Tuesday into Wednesday, and California, where prices increased by more than three-and-a-half cents in the past day.
Prices are continuing to decline in many states across the eastern portion of the country, according to AAA, but the drop has significantly slowed from the swift collapse in prices seen during the summer.
California leads the way in expensive gas, averaging $5.49 a gallon on average, followed by Hawaii ($5.27) and Nevada ($4.95).
Mississippi boasts the cheapest prices, with an average of $3.09 a gallon, with Louisiana next up at $3.14 a gallon and then Georgia, where gas is $3.16 a gallon on average.
“All streaks have to end at some point,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said earlier this week. “There are big factors tugging on global oil prices—war, COVID, economic recession, and hurricane season.”
Gas prices skyrocketed earlier this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, peaking at an all-time record high of $5.02 on average in the U.S. on June 14. But the trend then reversed at an equally historic rate, in large part due to a decrease in demand. The pace of the collapse slowed significantly over the past week, though, signaling the long-term decline was likely coming to an end.
A bleak speech from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday declaring a “partial mobilization” of Russian military reservists will fuel concerns about the war intensifying. Hurricane season has also taken a worrying turn, with forecasters now tracking Category 4 Hurricane Fiona, Tropical Storm Gaston and three other disturbances.
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