Prices at the pump fluctuate as demand declines and crude oil prices rise

RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) – After 10 days of stability, AAA reports that the national gas price average rose by a dime over the weekend, but the Virginia average fell by a dime for the week and 17 cents from last month. Harrisonburg is also said to be down a cent.

AAA says prices are set to fluctuate over the coming week, especially in light of a recent drop in demand.

“We expect the number of inquiries this week to increase as it will reflect Memorial Day weekend trips, but that is unlikely to result in higher gasoline prices for the majority of drivers,” AAA spokesperson Morgan Dean said. “However, crude oil is on the rise and could support prices at the pump.”

To help gauge the price fluctuation at the pump later this summer, AAA tracks two additional factors: crude oil prices and global supply. Officials last week said crude prices hit their highest level ($ 69 for a barrel) in 2.5 years. Since crude accounts for more than 50 percent of the price at the pump, when it goes up, so does the price paid by drivers, according to a press release from the AAA.

What is promising, they say, is that crude may not hold up to this level. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, announced last week that they still plan to gradually increase crude production in July. If they increase production, it could lead to lower crude oil prices, which is good news for motorists.

To learn more about prices at the pump, click on here.

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