(LOS ANGELES – May 17, 2012) –A week of price spikes brought Southern California pump prices back to the high levels paid in February, erasing the declines of March and April, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Weekend Gas Watch.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.405 per gallon, which is 17.2 cents more than last week, 17 cents higher than last month, and 19 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $4.369, 14.8 cents above last week, 13 cents above last month, and 18 cents higher than last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.420, up 16.7 cents from last week, 17 cents higher than a month ago, and 16 cents above last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $4.370, up 16.8 cents from last week, 14 cents higher than last month, and 17 cents more than last year.
“After four days of frenzied buying at the wholesale level last week in response to record low inventories, the California wholesale market settled back down on Friday and Monday, and we have already seen retail prices decline slightly or plateau in the past 24 hours,” said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. “At least for now, it seems the sharp increases are over, but the question is how long it will take pump prices to decline to the levels they were at a week ago. If they don’t drop by at least 20 cents per gallon, Memorial Day travelers from Southern California may pay the highest gas prices ever for this holiday.
The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 10 a.m. on May 17, averages are:
Los Angeles – Long Beach
Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Lompoc
Riverside – San Bernardino