(The Center Square) – Missouri had one of the nation’s largest weekly increases in gas prices last week, as the average price per gallon was up 19 cents, according to AAA.
Drivers apparently are taking advantage of warmer temperatures throughout Missouri in early January, compared with single-digit and sub-zero temperatures and wind chills in late December.
“The recent rising temperatures led to rising pump prices,” Andrew Gross, a AAA spokesperson, said in a statement. “And with the cost of oil hitting $80 a barrel, there is a lot of upward pressure on gas prices at the moment.”
The federal government’s Energy Information Administration reported the demand for gasoline increased by approximately 6% last week while inventories increased 2%. If demand for gasoline continues, prices will rise throughout the rest of the week.
The average price for a gallon of gas in Missouri on Monday was $3.12, according to AAA. The national average was $3.42, 33 cents higher than last month and 10 cents more than a year ago.
Last week, the average price in Missouri was $2.93 a gallon and the national average was $3.30. Last month, Missourians paid an average of $2.68 a gallon as the national average was $3.09.
Monday’s lowest average price in the state was in Kansas City at $3.01; the highest was $3.19 in Cape Girardeau and Jefferson City.
Hawaii had the most expensive gasoline in the nation at $4.94, followed by California ($4.44), Washington ($4.06), Nevada ($3.95) and Alaska ($3.72).
The price of crude oil rose at the end of last week as the markets expressed optimism that demand might be more robust than expected, AAA reported. Oil prices could continue to increase if market optimism continues.