FLORHAM PARK — The national average price of a gallon of gasoline has been above $3 for 1,000 consecutive days, ever since Dec. 23, 2010, according to AAA. That’s not going to change, barring a major economic recession, according to AAA’s forecast.
“Paying less than $3 per gallon for gasoline may be automotive history for most Americans, like using 8-track tapes or going to a drive-in movie,” said Bob Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA. “The reality is that expensive gas is here to stay, which is tough on millions of people who depend on a car to live their lives. While a lucky few drivers may occasionally pay less than $3 per gallon, the national average is likely to remain more costly into the future.”
Monday’s national average was $3.52 per gallon. Gas prices, on average, have remained above $3.50 per gallon for the majority of the current streak. Since the current streak began, consumers will have paid a national average of:
- $3.25 per gallon or higher for 913 total days
- $3.50 per gallon or higher for 643 total days
- $3.75 per gallon or higher for 189 total days
“Motorists took notice when gas prices crept past $3 per gallon,” continued Darbelnet. “Spending more on gas concerns consumers because it reduces savings and spending for everything else we need. Our leaders can help alleviate this economic burden by encouraging a national policy that stimulates production, limits price volatility, ensures greater efficiency and promotes alternative energy.”
Gas prices first surged above $3 per gallon for eight days immediately following Hurricane Katrina from September 3 – 10, 2005. The longest previous streak above $3 per gallon was for 244 days from Feb. 17 – Oct. 17, 2008 During that time, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas reached an all-time high of $4.11 on July 17. The national average fell below $3 per gallon for 796 days from Oct. 18 – Dec. 22, 2010 due to a weaker economy, which demands less gas and oil.
The national average price of gas so far this year is $3.57 per gallon, which should drop through December as demand declines during cooler months. Last year was the most expensive year on record with an annual average $3.60 per gallon, followed by an annual average of $3.51 per gallon in 2011. In 2012, the average U.S. household spent $2,912 on gasoline, just under four percent of income before taxes, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The most expensive daily national average during the current streak was $3.98 per gallon on May 5, 2011, while the lowest daily average was $3.01 per gallon on December 23, 2010.
Forty-six percent of adults believe gas is too high when it reaches $3 per gallon, according to a consumer index developed by AAA. Sixty-two percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.50 per gallon and 90 percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $4 per gallon. Sixty-two percent of Americans reported offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.
AAA updates fuel price averages daily at FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day, up to 12,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
The AAA New Jersey Automobile Club, headquartered in Florham Park, provides automotive, travel, insurance, financial and educational services to its more than 400,000 members in Essex, Morris and Union Counties. The AAA New Jersey Automobile Club also owns and operates New Jersey’s first AAA Car Care Center, located in Springfield.
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