$5 Gas Is Here Already Amid Historic Run-Up

Off the Charts: The Visual Says It All

Photo of a young African American man at a gas station, filling his tank with a look of shock as he looks at the sale price.
•••

jhorrocks / Getty Images

Amid a historic run-up in fuel costs, the price of gasoline crossed into $5 territory for the first time this weekend.

As the chart below shows, the national average for a gallon of unleaded has more than doubled in the last year and a half and jumped almost $1 in just the past two months, reaching $5.01 on Monday, according to data from AAA. 

What is causing the spike? A confluence of factors. Concerns about having enough oil globally has kept the price of crude oil high for months, first because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered sanctions against Russia, a major oil producer, and now because China will likely need more as it emerges from COVID-19 lockdowns. Meanwhile, there is more limited capacity to process the oil into gasoline, and more Americans are using gas now that the summer travel season is here. 

Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Terry at tlane@thebalance.com.

Want to read more content like this? Sign up for The Balance’s newsletter for daily insights, analysis, and financial tips, all delivered straight to your inbox every morning!

Article Sources