TOMS RIVER, NJ – Shore-bound traffic during the weekend after Memorial Day weekend was light. People across the Garden State are now driving fewer miles for recreation with gas prices spiking to new record highs to an average of $4.85 per gallon. That spells bad news for commuters, but it could mean good news long-term for the Jersey Shore.
With record-high gas prices nationwide and statewide, New Jerseyans are seeking closer, more affordable summer destinations that won’t break the fuel budget bank.
Fueling up in New Jersey now costs the average person about a hundred dollars a pop.
According to GasBuddy.com, it’s not just a Jersey problem. In some parts of Ocean and Monmouth County, the price for regular gasoline, when paid by credit card has crested over the $5 threshold for the first time in history.
For the seventh straight week, the nation’s average gas price has risen, surging 26.0 cents from a week ago to $4.85 per gallon today according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is up 56.0 cents from a month ago and $1.81 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 11.5 cents in the last week and stands at $5.62 per gallon, GasBuddy reported today.
“After a blistering week of gas prices jumping in nearly every town, city, state and area possible, more bad news is on the horizon. It now appears not if, but when, we’ll hit that psychologically critical $5 national average,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Gasoline inventories continue to decline even with demand softening due to high prices, a culmination of less refining capacity than we had prior to Covid and strong consumption, a situation that doesn’t look to improve drastically anytime soon. Nine states have average gas prices that stand beyond the $5 per gallon mark, with more set to join in the days and weeks ahead. In addition, diesel prices also stand at a record high, a second gut-punch to consumers which pushes prices of most goods higher.”
Oil prices were mostly quiet in early Monday trading after another volatile week. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 4 cents to $118.91 per barrel, down slightly from last Monday’s early surge to $119.01, while Brent crude oil was up 12 cents in early trade to $119.84 per barrel, down from last Monday’s $123.71 level. After surging to start last week, OPEC’s somewhat surprising decision to raise production quotas by 648,000 barrels per day instead of the previously agreed to 432,000 barrels was seen as a glimmer of hope to a market badly in need of oil amidst continued economic recovery. With China’s economy now largely fully reopen, demand is likely to rise further, with OPEC citing Russia’s inability to meet its quota for boosting output.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was unchanged at 727, and was 271 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up 14 to 117, 40 more than a year ago.
With many stations now at or above the $4.99 per gallon mark, this week, prices are expected to continue to soar. Governor Phil Murphy has so far ignored all legislative requests for a gas tax holiday or temporary freeze. New Jersey taxes gasoline at the rate of $42.4 cents per gallon. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $4.49 per gallon, up 20 cents from last week, followed by $4.59, $4.99, $4.79, and $4.39 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. price is $4.64 per gallon, about 21 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.98/gal, while the bottom 10% average $4.01/gal.
The states with the lowest average prices: Georgia ($4.27), Arkansas ($4.39), and Oklahoma ($4.41).
The states with the highest prices: California ($6.32), Nevada ($5.46), and Hawaii ($5.45).