CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolinians are paying the highest gas prices in six months. North Carolina's average is sitting at $2.16, an increase from last week's average of $2.05. South Carolina's average is currently $2.01, which is also an increase from last week's state average of $1.93.
The national average has remained above $2 per gallon for 40 consecutive days. Today's average price of $2. 22 represents an increase of eight cents per gallon on the week, and prices are up 16 cents per gallon on the month. Ample gasoline supplies and relatively lower crude oil costs are helping to sustain year-over-year savings, with today's price discounted by 39 cents per gallon versus a year ago.
Compared to a month ago drivers in the Carolinas are paying more to refuel their vehicles. South Carolina's average a month ago was $1.88 and North Carolina's was $2.01. However, compared to a year ago drivers are paying less. A year ago, North Carolina drivers were paying $2.46 at the pump and South Carolina drivers were paying $2.32.
Gasoline demand continues to break seasonal records as low prices motivate people to drive more. Additionally, crude oil costs are also increasing and recently reached new 2016 highs. Increased demand and more expensive oil costs have helped to push gas prices higher in many parts of the country over the past few weeks, and prices may move even higher leading into the busy summer driving season.
The lower price environment for gas prices has not only led to drivers taking to the roads at record levels, but is also shifting attitudes about various price points. Attitudes towards gas prices have changed significantly over the past few years, according to a new survey by AAA:
- Half of U.S. drivers now believe gas is “too high” at $2.50 per gallon. This figure has dropped significantly in relationship to the price of gas. As recently as 2014, half of Americans believed gas was “too high” at $3.30 per gallon, while last year half of Americans believed it was “too high” at $3 per gallon. Only nine percent of U.S. stations are selling gas for more than $2.50 per gallon today.
- More than 35 percent of Americans believe that gas is “too high” based on today's average price, even though gas prices are at the lowest levels since 2009. The vast majority of Americans also do not believe that gas is “cheap” today.