Auto Club: No Relief in Sight as Gasoline Prices Continue to Set New Records

(LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2004) — Strong demand for gasoline helped push prices higher last week throughout California as new record high prices were set virtually on a daily basis, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The national average for gasoline is $2.010, 6 cents higher than last week and a new record high. Nearly every major city surveyed indicated a new record high.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $2.319 a gallon, which 5.3 cents higher than last week, 12 cents higher than last month and 48 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.341, which is 5.8 cents above last week, 13 cents higher than last month and 53 cents above last year. Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $2.434, which is 4.7 cents higher than last week, 14 cents above last month and 49 cents higher than last year.

"Gasoline on the Los Angeles wholesale market continues to sell in the $1.70 range, which should keep pump prices at or higher than current levels," said Auto Club spokesperson, Carol Thorp. "Despite record high retail prices, demand for gas continues to be very strong. As long as motorists are willing to buy more gasoline at higher prices, there is little hope that prices will go lower any time soon."

The national average price of gasoline rose six cents last week to a record high of $2.010. This week, 16 of the 19 cities surveyed in the Weekend Gas Watch have set new record high prices.

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 21:

Local and Nearby Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.319 + 5.3 cents $2.319 (5/21/2004)
San Diego $2.341 + 5.8 cents $2.341 (5/21/2004)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $2.434 + 4.7 cents $2.437 (5/21/2004)
National Average $2.010 +6.0 cents $2.010 (5/21/2004)
Other Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
New York $2.185 + 8.0 cents $2.185 (5/21/2004)
Washington, D.C. $2.032 + 8.0 cents $2.032 (5/21/2004)
Boston $2.018 + 8.2 cents $2.018 (5/21/2004)
Philadelphia $2.033 + 8.6 cents $2.033 (5/21/2004)
Atlanta $1.915 + 6.9 cents $1.915 (5/21/2004)
Miami $2.027 + 7.2 cents $2.027 (5/21/2004)
Chicago $2.159 + 5.7 cents $2.161 (5/19/2004)
Detroit $2.059 + 6.5 cents $2.137 (06/20/2000)
Kansas City, MO $1.933 + 6.8 cents $1.933 (5/21/2004)
St. Louis $1.976 + 9.4 cents $1.976 (5/21/2004)
Denver $1.937 + 2.1 cents $1.937 (5/21/2004)
Dallas $1.891 + 6.9 cents $1.891 (5/21/2004)
Houston $1.872 + 6.8 cents $1.872 (5/21/2004)
Salt Lake City $1.973 + 1.6 cents $1.973 (5/21/2004)
Las Vegas, NV $2.239 + 2.2 cents $2.239 (5/21/2004)
Phoenix, AZ $2.175 + 2.0 cents $2.175 (5/21/2004)
Seattle $2.287 + 7.2 cents $2.287 (5/21/2004)
San Francisco $2.392 + 5.6 cents $2.392 (5/21/2004)
Honolulu $$2.188 + 5.1 cents $2.190 (5/19/2004)

###