Charlotte, N.C. (May 18, 2020) – Gas prices in the Carolinas are inching higher as most of the region pushes towards re-opening, causing a growing number of people to hit the road. Gasoline demand is now only 30 percent lower than a year ago and even with prices expected to push more expensive this month, motorists will still see some low Memorial Day gas prices.
“Gas prices in the Carolinas increased last week for the first time in nearly 80 days,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA spokesperson. “A small increase in pump prices is likely to continue in the upcoming weeks as Carolinians get back on the roads to visit businesses and possibly do some holiday traveling.”
On the week, North Carolina’s average is four cents more expensive at $1.71, three cents more expensive on the month and 92 cents cheaper on the year. South Carolina’s average is three cents more expensive at $1.60, one cent more expensive on the month and 86 cents cheaper on the year.
For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast due to COVID-19 impacts on the underlying economic data used to create the forecast.
At the start of the Memorial Day work week, the national gas price average is $1.87 and motorists can expect gas prices to continue to push more expensive, possibly hitting the $2 mark in the next few weeks. This is due to an increase in demand as states begin to re-open. The switchover from winter-blend gasoline to summer-blend typically also causes gas prices to spike during the summer driving season, but that will likely not be the case this year due to the impact of COVID-19 on demand and crude oil prices.
Crude prices increased last week amid growing market optimism that crude demand continues to rebound as more states re-open and demand for gasoline has grown in recent weeks. For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 between the OPEC and other major crude exporters, including Russia, is helping to rebalance the global oil market as demand remains low due to COVID-19.
For updated state and metro prices log on to https://gasprices.aaa.com/
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The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.