U.S. Govt. Expects Record Gasoline Prices This Spring
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. gasoline prices will hit a new record high this spring, reaching a national monthly average of $2.15 a gallon, the government said on March 8, according to a report in Reuters. During the busy 2005 driving season, which runs from April through September, gasoline will average $2.10 a gallon, up 20 cents from the same period last year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its monthly energy forecast. The record high U.S. gasoline price was $2.06 a gallon set last May. However, when adjusted for inflation in today's dollars, the highest price for gasoline was $3.08 a gallon in March 1981, according to the Energy Department's analytical arm. The current average pump price for regular unleaded gasoline jumped 7.1 cents over the last week to $2 a gallon, up 26 cents from a year ago, based on an EIA survey of service stations."Recently, gasoline prices have been rising in response to late winter rising crude oil prices and high rates of refinery use," the EIA said. Strong gasoline demand is also pushing up motor fuel prices, the agency said. The EIA revised up its estimate for U.S. gasoline demand during the April through June period by 3,000 barrels per day to 9.33 million barrels per day, compared to 9.16 million a year earlier.