The average pump price in Idaho is now $3.11 per gallon -- which is 23 cents more than a month ago, and 55 cents more than a year ago, according to AAA Idaho.
The Gem State has the dubious honor of ranking sixth in the country for highest gas price increases from a year ago. Current pump prices also put Idaho in seventh place for the highest gas prices today, experts say.
Gasoline inventories nationwide are recovering from record-high demand in April -- and the national average gas price held steady for the week, as the spike in U.S. pump prices appeared to temporarily level off. In addition, nineteen state averages remained flat or even dipped slightly for the week.
“It may be a case of rising gas prices starting to be held in check, to some extent, by a return to more typical travel demand following the start of a busy spring season,” said Matthew Conde, Public Affairs Director for AAA Idaho. “There could be a lull -- or perhaps even a slight decrease -- in gas prices until demand starts building for the Memorial Day weekend. We’ll hope for the best.”
“The possibility of stable fuel prices is welcome news for the many drivers who have experienced nothing but pain at the pump since the beginning of the year,” he added. “Today, the national average is $2.81, which is 25 cents more than a month ago, and 45 cents more than a year ago.”
“The Rockies region is still guzzling fuel at a rapid pace,” Conde explained. “The current regional inventory sits at 7.2 million barrels, nearly 600,000 below where it was at the end of April of last year.”
“In the coming weeks, political tension in the Middle East over a possible renegotiation of Iran’s nuclear deal could create some uncertainty in the global crude oil market, and domestic fuel demand could resume its frenetic pace soon,” Conde said. “If these or other events occur, our moment of calm could be very brief.” Barring unforeseen circumstances, AAA predicts that gas prices could rise by 5 to 10 cents as part of the process leading up to Memorial Day travel.
“There’s been consistent growth in travel demand for every major holiday over the past few years,” Conde said. After AAA has completed this year’s projections, we’ll have a much better sense of what the future will hold.”