A recent price increase in gasoline has taken some of the wind out of the sails of summer. The national average for a gallon of gasoline has increased to $3.67, which is an increase of 34 cents per gallon since the beginning of July.
The recent increase in the price of crude oil and problems in pipelines and refineries in the Midwest and West Coast, including a fire that took place in California, are to blame for the spike in price.
Analysts are not expecting the price of gas to reach as high as it did back in April, when the price passed the $4 per gallon mark in 10 states and the average for the U.S. reached $3.94 per gallon. However, the new price increase is unwelcome news in the still sluggish economy, as any extra cash used at the pumps is not being spent on dinners, movies or vacations.
The increasing prices might also apply additional pressure on President Obama during the heat of the election campaign. Economists and analysts agree that prices of wholesale gasoline and crude oil are set on the financial exchanges globally and are based on supply and demand with expectations about how factors might change.
In the U.S., the price of gasoline fell by over 60 cents for a gallon during spring, as a slowdown in the global economy took place and problems in the Middle East seemed to lessen.
However, the price of crude oil is increasing again and has hit the $94 a barrel price after bottoming out at $78 per barrel the last week of June. Seasonal factors have also sent prices at the pump higher.