Gas prices rise for the first time in 99 days

Young man refueling his vehicle while looking worried at the high gas prices at a gas station.
Photo credit Getty Images

In the middle of June, gas prices peaked, with the national average cost of a gallon of gas passing $5 for the first time. It's been good news since then, but that took a sharp turn Wednesday when prices rose for the first time in 99 days.

The three months of falling gas prices saw the national average for a gallon of gas dip from $5.02 to $3.68 as of Thursday, according to AAA.

While prices have fallen for almost 100 straight days, the average cost per gallon of gas is well above where it was a year ago when the cost was $3.19.

While the 14-week decline was the longest decline seen since 2015, the rise in prices on Wednesday has experts questioning whether or not it was a blip or a sign that prices are going to rise once again.

Throughout the declines in prices, President Joe Biden has taken credit for the dip, saying his efforts to release oil from the nation’s reserves helped drive costs down.

But prices across the board have been a sign that the economy is not improving, especially with gasoline prices primarily reflecting trends in global oil prices.

While crude prices have slumped since mid-June, the result has created lower gasoline prices domestically. However, costs for other necessities, like food and rent, have continued to rise.

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Inflation rose in August after falling the month prior, and while the increase was only 0.1%, economists were predicting the 0.1% to go in the other direction, CNBC reported

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the reason for the increase was a 0.8% increase in the food index in August and a 0.7% increase in shelter costs, meaning predictions from economists were wrong.

Energy experts like Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service shared with The Associated Press that prices are more likely to rise than fall in the next few months.

“I suspect that we will see choppy prices for gasoline through year-end, with some down days and up days,” Olza said.

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