Auto Club: Huge Jump in Prices as Gasoline Continues Eight Week Trend

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

The Worst May Be Over

(LOS ANGELES, February 27, 2004) — The price of gasoline shot higher by 20 cents per gallon in Los Angeles and San Diego last week as motorists absorbed sharp increases in the wholesale gas market from the previous week, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. But the easing of wholesale prices may bring lower prices in the next few days. The national average for gasoline increased 3.8 cents per gallon.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $2.133, which is 20.3 cents higher than last week. This price is 38 cents higher than last month and 21 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.157, which is 19.9 cents above last week's level, 38 cents above last month and 19 cents higher than last year.

Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $2.188, which is 17.2 cents higher than last week's price, 34 cents above last month and 22 cents higher than last year. "Wednesday and Thursday of last week saw wholesale prices jump from $1.35 per gallon to $1.57 per gallon. Retailers who bought gas last week at $1.57 were selling it to the public this week at over $2 per gallon," said Carol Thorp, Auto Club spokesperson. "This week, wholesale prices declined by about 12 cents per gallon. Over the next several days, retail gas prices should begin pulling back?perhaps by as much as 5–10 cents per gallon."

The national average price of gasoline increased 3.8 cents per gallon last week. Most regions of the country are experiencing relative price stability. However, a sunken ship that blocked part of the Mississippi River near New Orleans this week has cut off gasoline supplies to some Southern regions, particularly in Florida. Prices in those regions may spike until the ship wreck can be cleared.

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at metropolitan destinations throughout the nation. Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., Feb. 27:

Local and Nearby AreasRegularChange from last weekRecord Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach$2.133+20.3 cents$2.167 (3/22/03)
San Diego$2.157+19.9 cents$2.211 (3/20/03)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc$2.188+17.2 cents$2.233 (8/27/03)
National Average$1.681+3.8 cents$1.737 (8/30/2003)
Other AreasRegular Change from last week Record Price
New York$1.854+1.8 cents$1.968 (9/6/2003)
Washington, D.C.$1.688+0.2 cents$1.797 (5/16/2001)
Boston$1.686+1.6 cents$1.812 (9/3/2003)
Philadelphia$1.692+2.2 cents$1.807 (9/3/2003)
Atlanta$1.567+0.6 cents$1.589 (3/18/2003)
Miami$1.714+1.8 cents$1.761 (3/18/2003)
Chicago$1.766+1.3 cents$2.142 (6/19/2000)
Detroit$1.674+2.1 cents$2.137 (6/20/2000)
Kansas City, MO$1.552+2.1 cents$1.790 (6/21/2000)
St. Louis$1.620+4.5 cents$1.767 (5/17/2001)
Denver$1.540+0.7 cents$1.780 (6/5/2001)
Dallas$1.590+1.8 cents$1.666 (5/12/2001)
Houston$1.556+0.6 cents$1.639 (5/12/2001)
Salt Lake City$1.637+3.7 cents$1.789 (9/4/2003)
Las Vegas, NV$2.011+17.5 cents$2.063 (3/25/03)
Phoenix, AZ$1.896 +17.3 cents$2.146 (8/26/03)
Seattle$1.772 +6.4 cents$1.969 (9/4/2003)
San Francisco$2.188+18.3 cents$2.276 (3/19/2003)
Honolulu$2.017+2.6 cents$2.054 (10/2/2003)

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