Ugh! Gas hits $2.50

Drivers already feeling the recession's pain suffer as the average price of a gallon rockets more than 50% since the start of the year.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By CNNMoney.com staff

chart_gas_prices250sun.03.gif

Find Your Next Car


Photos
Pontiac's road to oblivion
The Pontiac most of us know today really started in the early 1960s. Over the years, there have been several attempts to bring it back.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The price of gas, rising for the 33rd straight day, has reached $2.50 a gallon, motorist group AAA reported Sunday.

The spike of more than 20% in a month is hitting Americans in their wallets and causing concern among some experts.

The jump in one of consumers' staple purchases comes at a fragile time for the economy. Recently some measures of housing, spending and credit have hinted that the most severe parts of the recession may be easing.

At the same time, gas has jumped in price as the American auto industry is on the verge of a dramatic reshaping amid plummeting vehicle sales.

According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas has edged up to $2.502, from $2.488 the day before.

Late spring is typically a time of year when people drive more. But rising gas prices could cause people to stay home. That would mean less spending, which could dampen governments efforts to stimulate the economy.

"There's way too much optimism about a driving season lift," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service.

Kloza said the impact will be especially painful in economic "sore spots" like California, Florida, Arizona and the rural South.

Currently, the highest gas prices are in Hawaii, where prices average $2.789 per gallon, and Alaska, where the average is $2.751.

In the lower 48, the highest prices are in two of the states hardest hit by the recession: California ($2.746) and Michigan ($2.745).

Michigan suffers the highest unemployment rate in the nation -- 12.9%. California is close behind at 11%.

The next most expensive states for filling up are:

  • Illinois, $2.692
  • Washington, $2.677
  • Wisconsin, $2.647
  • New York, $2.634
  • Indiana, $2.618
  • Ohio, $2.618
  • Connecticut, $2.615

The cheapest gas can be found in South Carolina, where the average is $2.309 a gallon.

Despite the recent surge, the average price of a gallon of gas remains well below its all-time peak of $4.114 on July 17, 2008.

But the repercussions of the 2008 gas spike are still being felt.

Last year's gas price spike severely hampered demand for SUVs and trucks, hastening the downward spiral for the Big Three automakers.

Chrysler filed for bankruptcy on April 30 and is awaiting a ruling from a federal judge as to whether it may sell its assets and form a new company. General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) is expected to file for bankruptcy next week and its stock price is trading below $1 a share for the first time since the Great Depression. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
Cool cars from the New York Auto Show These are some of the most interesting new models and concept vehicles from the Big Apple's car show. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More
Sponsors
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.