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Gas prices hit yet another record high

<i>Rogelio V. Solis/AP</i><br/>Gas prices hit yet another record high. A customer pumps gas into his vehicle
AP
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Gas prices hit yet another record high. A customer pumps gas into his vehicle

By Matt Egan, CNN

Millions of Americans traveling this holiday weekend are being greeted by unprecedented prices at the gas pump.

The national average for regular gasoline rose to a fresh record of $4.62 a gallon on Monday, according to AAA. That’s up by a penny from Sunday and 44 cents more expensive than a month ago.

Gas prices are up sharply from last Memorial Day, when they averaged $3.05 a gallon, according to AAA.

Seven states are now averaging $5-a-gallon gas, with the latest being Illinois (rounded up from $4.996). New York and Arizona are just pennies away from hitting that milestone. And there are no states where gas prices average less than $4.10 a gallon.

In spite of high prices, AAA estimates that 34.9 million people are traveling by car this holiday weekend, up 4.6% from last year.

Even after adjusting for inflation, gas prices are very elevated.

Real (that is, inflation-adjusted) gas prices haven’t been this high heading into Memorial Day weekend since 2012, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The all-time high for average inflation-adjusted gas prices was set in June 2008 at $5.38 a gallon.

Soaring gas prices reflect strong demand as people ramp up their summer travel plans and sluggish supply caused by a confluence of factors, including disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine and the fact that both the United States and OPEC are pumping less oil than before Covid-19.

Another factor: After a series of retirements, US refineries are having trouble keeping up with surging demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

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