(WETM) – Gas prices typically rise between Memorial Day and Labor Day, as Americans hit the road for short or long-term getaways. This year prices could increase even more because more people are staying local rather than traveling abroad.
In April, gas prices in New York State averaged $2.90 per gallon and now they have increased to $3.04. In Pennsylvania, there was a similar increase. Last month, prices at the pump were $3.00 per gallon and now they average $3.15.
International travel is still very limited due to COVID-19 and domestic flights have not regained to their pre-pandemic levels due to state’s reopening at different times. Many people are turning to cars as their primary mode of summer transportation. As more people drive and need fuel, the higher the prices will go.
“It’s the driving season. It’s the vacation season. Clearly with European travel restrictions in place, most Americans are going to be staying close to home, increasing the demand. The supply is increasing, but the increase in demand is causing the increase in oil prices,” Economist Dr. Martin Cantor said.
Experts say you should avoid panic buying and avoid hoarding gasoline. They say this increase is typical for the time of year and there is not much to be done about it; however, economists are keeping a close eye on the price increases, saying they may resemble inflation.
“Prices have been going up since President Biden took over in January. That is going up more than the demand,” Dr. Cantor continued. “The big concern we fear is that the increase in gas prices could contribute to an inflationary economy. If that happens, The Federal Reserve has to really step in.”
This could damage the economic growth and progress that has been made as state’s reopen, hindering future economic success.
There are ways to save fuel and drive cost-effectively. Those tips can be found on our WETM Gas Tracker here.