It’s spring break week for many in Jefferson County, and as folks hit the road, they are seeing an uptick in gas prices — though experts predict prices overall this year to be lower than last year.
According to AAA, the average price per gallon in Kentucky on April 1 was $2.62, up 6 cents, or about 2.4 percent, from a year ago.
Nationally, according to GasBuddy.com, the average climbed for the seventh consecutive week, up 3.9 cents, to $2.69 a gallon. That is the highest level in 142 days, GasBuddy found in compiling data from more than 10 million individual price reports covering 135,000 gas stations across the U.S. The average price of diesel rose 0.2 cents to $3.02 per gallon, it said.
“The run-up this spring has felt worse than prior years, and thus far, the national average is up nearly 50 cents per gallon from our 2019 low,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Unfortunately, this a rut we’ll be stuck in yet for at least a few more weeks.”
AAA expects the national gas price average this spring to reach $2.75, a savings of nearly 20 cents compared to last spring’s high of $2.92.
“While we are seeing the national gas price average increase and mirror prices from this time last year, spring pump prices for the majority of motorists are not expected to elevate to the nearly $3/gallon level of last May,” said Jeanette Casselano, a AAA spokeswoman.
“Historically, early spring triggers an increase in pump prices due to an increase in demand as Americans put the winter blues behind them and drive more,” added Casselano. “Another factor pumping up the price is the switchover to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive for refiners to produce.”
The price of crude oil has climbed lately as well. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 63 cents in trading Monday morning, up $2.08 per barrel versus a week ago to stand at $60.75, a fresh multi-month high, GasBuddy said. Brent crude also lurched forward, up nearly $2 per barrel from $66.73 a week ago to $68.42 in early Monday trade, it added.
The most common gas price across the country was $2.59 per gallon, but in Louisville on Monday, prices were settling in the $2.60+ range, according to GasBuddy. The lowest cost around noon was $2.56 at Costco on Norton Healthcare Blvd.