Auto Club: Gasoline Prices Make U-Turn — Steep Increases Likely Within the Week

(LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2004) — After two weeks of slight price declines, gasoline prices moved upward last week on investor jitters that supplies will not be sufficient to meet demand, according the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The national average for gasoline is $1.857, 4.5 cents higher than last week and a new record high.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $2.184 which 1.1 cents higher than last week. Today's price is 2 cents higher than last month and 24 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.209, which is 3.2 cents above last week, 2 cents higher than last month and 26 cents above last year. Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $2.312, which is 2.3 cents higher than last week, 6 cent above last month and 29 cents higher than last year.

"Wholesale gasoline prices shot up to $1.70/gallon this week on two events; a Northern California pipeline break and a news report that there could be a gas shortage in California. Even though the pipeline is repaired and California Energy Commission officials say there are sufficient supplies, wholesale prices remain at very high levels," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "Motorists should expect retail prices to move sharply higher in the coming week with the possibility that new record high prices may be set."

The national average price of gasoline rose 4.5 cents last week. The price of $1.857 is a new record high. This year, 41 states have set new record high prices and by next week the number of states with new record highs is expected to reach 48.

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at metropolitan destinations throughout the nation.

Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., May 7:

Local and Nearby Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.184 +1.1 cents $2.233 (04/10/2004)
San Diego $2.209 +3.2 cents $2.240 (04/09/2004)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $2.312 +2.3 cents $2.317 (04/10/2004)
National Average $1.857 +4.5 cents $1.857 (05/06/2004)
Other Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
New York $2.0001 +3.7 cents $2.001 (05/06/2004)
Washington, D.C. $1.873 +3.3 cents $1.873 (05/06/2004)
Boston $1.813 +4.8 cents $1.813 (05/06/2004)
Philadelphia $1.826 +3.7 cents $1.826 (05/06/2004)
Atlanta $1.737 +5.4 cents $1.737 (05/06/2004)
Miami $1.871 +2.7 cents $1.871 (05/06/2004)
Chicago $2.013 +9.1 cents $2.142 (06/19/2000)
Detroit $1.885 +7.1 cents $2.137 (06/20/2000)
Kansas City, MO $1.761 +8.6 cents $1.790 (06/21/2000)
St. Louis $1.836 +7.2 cents $1.836 (05/06/2004)
Denver $1.823 +1.6 cents $1.832 (04/20/2004)
Dallas $1.733 +3.6 cents $1.733 (05/06/2004)
Houston $1.713 +4.1 cents $1.713 (05/06/2004)
Salt Lake City $1.927 +2.8 cents $1.927 (05/06/2004)
Las Vegas, NV $2.138 +1.4 cents $2.138 (04/24/2004)
Phoenix, AZ $2.045 +3.2 cents $2.146 (08/26/2003)
Seattle $2.111 +7.3 cents $2.111 (05/06/2004)
San Francisco $2.255 +2.1 cents $2.294 (04/10/2004)
Honolulu $2.091 +1.9 cents $2.091 (05/06/2004)

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