Gas prices are on the rise again. Here’s where experts say they are going next.

Budget-conscious motorists may want to fill up as soon as possible, as prices at the pump are likely to rise in the short term.

The approach of peak driving season and refineries’ annual switch to more expensive summer gasolines have pushed the national average for unleaded to $3.63, according to AAA.

Prices rose slightly, with motorists paying an average of six cents more per gallon than a week ago and 23 cents more at the same time last month. Still, the cost of filling up is in line with where motorists and their wallets were a year ago, when a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.61, according to AAA data.

The cost of gas turned out to be a major surprise factor rising inflation last month — a trend expected to persist into April, experts told CBS MoneyWatch. Paying to operate vehicles and have a roof over their heads accounted for more than half of the rise in the consumer price index in March, which rose 3.5% last month from a year ago. Gas prices rose 1.7% from February to March, according to government data released on Wednesday.

Why are gas prices increasing?

Driving higher gas costs are routine factors, including refinery maintenance, the shift to summer gasoline and growing demand. Added to this mix are geopolitical factors, notably the Russian-Ukrainian war and Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Stripwhich propelled the price of oil to its highest level in six months.

WE intelligence that Iran is preparing to retaliate for the Israeli attack early last week on an Iranian consulate in Syria is among the developments that keep the global commodities market on alert.

Growing fears of an Iranian attack on Israel; IDF strike kills Hamas leader’s sons


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged Ukraine not to launch further attacks on Russian oil refineries, citing the risk to global energy markets, a Biden administration official told Congress Wednesday .

“The West Coast will likely see gas prices continue to rise, and in about a week it will be joined by the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states as they complete the transition to gasoline from summer,” GasBuddy noted in a blog post Monday. .

Gas prices average $5.41 per gallon in California and exceed four dollars per gallon in a half-dozen states, including Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, according to AAA. The cheapest gasoline is found in Arkansas, Colorado and Mississippi, where a gallon averages less than $3.20.


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