AAA has reported a small drop in gas prices —nearly 16 cents in the last month — but there is little optimism the trend will continue.
AAA said Monday that a combination of global oil prices going back up coupled with increased domestic demand could drive prices higher.
“As the days get longer, the weather gets warmer, and pump prices dip from their record highs, consumers feel more confident about hitting the road,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But these lower pump prices could be temporary if the global price of oil increases due to constrained supply.”
The price of a barrel of crude oil has increased dramatically since December, going up from $66 per barrel in December to a high of $123 last month. The spike relaxed some earlier this month as oil prices briefly dipped below $100, but have since hovered above the $100 mark.
While oil prices remain in flux, the full return of travel is also playing a role in driving gas prices up. Since gas prices bottomed out in late April 2020 at $1.77 a gallon, the price has steadily risen. The average price of a gallon of gas climbed above $3 last May and has not gone back down since.