SALT LAKE CITY — While Utah gas prices are currently among the highest in the country, and have jumped 50 cents a gallon in just the last month, Beehive State drivers will likely be paying even more as the summer travel season approaches.
Escalating prices track back to higher demand and a petroleum market that’s up significantly over the past year, American Automobile Association spokesman Michael Blasky told the Deseret News.
“The two biggest reasons we’re seeing higher prices are due to oil price increases and we’ve still had record travel demand,” Blasky said. “New reports from the federal government show travel volume this past winter was one of the highest in many years and we’re continuing to see that this spring.”
A year ago, a barrel of crude oil was trading for about $50 and Utahns were paying about $2.40 a gallon for regular gasoline. On Monday, the average price of regular was at $2.94 for Utahns — eighth highest in the country according to AAA data, and crude oil prices were hovering around $67/barrel.
Utah gas prices
Blasky said it’s typical for seasonal price fluctuations to start moving up about this time of year and to continue rising through the beginning of the summer travel season, commonly considered as running from Memorial Day through Labor Day. He noted it’s hard to identify a specific buyer tolerance threshold, after which gas prices start to alter travel decisions, but that whole dollar price benchmarks come with some psychological impacts.
“Just based on the feedback we get from our members, things get a lot more interesting when it hits $3 a gallon for Utahns,” Blasky said. “The same happens in California, where fuel runs higher, when the price hits $4.”
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Source:: Deseret News – Business News