The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that the average cost for Regular gasoline in America rose during the past week by one cent to $2.69 per gallon, the 7th increase in the past eight weeks. Regionally, the cheapest gas in the country can be found in Oklahoma, where a gallon of Regular costs just $2.31 on average. Residents of California as usual have to pay the most in the continental U.S. for Regular ($3.17/gallon), and San Francisco is again the city with the nation’s highest average price ($3.32/gallon).
The price at the pump has been trending higher since July and is now 18.8 percent above the summer low. However, most of the recent increase occurred earlier this month when the price for a gallon of Regular surged by 28 cents in a single week, the largest gain since 2005. This jump was related to hurricane Harvey, which shut down about a quarter of America’s total refining capacity. Hedge fund managers last week increased their net long position in U.S. gasoline by almost 17 million barrels to 66 million, the highest level since 2014, suggesting that speculators are skeptical U.S. refinery disruptions will be resolved quickly. Higher prices at the pump could be a drag on consumer spending in the near-term, especially since cheap gasoline has not provided much of a boost to retail sales.
Sources: U.S. EIA, DShort, GasBuddy, U.S. CFTC, Reuters
Post author: Charles Couch