AAA Expects Increase in June Gas Prices, Defying Usual Trend, Due to Iraq

AAA: higher gas prices in June due to Iraq turmoil
With the price of a barrel of oil hitting a yearly high this past week due to unrest in Iraq, it was obvious to most that US gasoline prices would begin to creep up in cost. AAA has come out with a new report confirming what everyone suspected. At the beginning of June, AAA was predicting higher than normal gasoline prices for June compared to the same time last year, but these prices would remain steady through the month. They predicted the national average for gas during June would likely vary between $3.55 to $3.70 per gallon. AAA is now saying, “Given the increase in crude oil prices to nearly a nine-month high, retail gas prices are likely to rise to or near the current 2014 high ($3.70 on April 28) in the coming days.”

The report also noted June is usually a month when the national average for gasoline usually declines. Over the past three years, gas prices in June fell approximately $0.20 per gallon during the month. With the unrest in Iraq, we’re unlikely to see the usual June dip in prices, and may very well see the highest gas prices of the year

There are currently three states where the average price of gasoline is above $4 per gallon: Hawaii ($4.35), California ($4.09) and Alaska ($4.06). All three of these states’ gas prices have remained above $4 closing on a month (23 days), and with the recent increase in oil prices, all three states are expected to remain above this benchmark for the foreseeable future. For a large part of the country (34 states and the District of Columbia), prices have been fairly steady this month with prices only varying +/- $0.02 a gallon. During the same time, five states have seen prices rise by a nickel or more: Montana and Ohio (+6 cents) and Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri (+5 cents).

The news confirms you should expect to see higher gas prices in the coming week, and the price could continue to rise depending on the news coming out of Iraq. That means everyone should be prepared to pay a little bit more the next time they have to fill up their vehicle.

For those who haven’t done so recently, this would be a good time to make sure you’ve done some of the little things to your vehicle which can help you save a bit money when you drive. These include:

  • Make sure all unneeded car racks have been taken off the car to increase aerodynamics
  • Clean out the trunk and back seat so that you aren’t carrying any extra weight
  • Check to make sure all tires are properly inflated
  • Check your air filter to make sure that it’s clean and not filled with dirt

While all of these are small steps that usually won’t save a lot of money each by themselves, together they can add up to quite a bit of savings over time. Doing so may allow you to remain within your monthly gasoline budget without having to increase it due to the rise in prices. If not, be sure to make adjustments, because the trend is showing that you’re going to be paying more the next time you visit the pump.

(Photo courtesy of Glenn Batuyong)

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