The average price of premium gasoline in a pump exceeded $ 5 per gallon for the first time in the United States, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reported on Saturday.
This record level represents the latest bad news for President Joe Biden, just five months before the important midterm elections, in addition to months of inflation spikes.
A year ago, the average price of gas in the United States was only $ 3.07. Since then, it has skyrocketed 62 percent.
Europeans have long been accustomed to paying more with pumps, but US gasoline taxes are low and car-loving Americans are shocked by soaring prices.
The rise in gas prices follows a steady rise in oil prices. Oil prices plummeted early in the Covid-19 pandemic due to declining demand, but rose again as global economic activity resumed.
After Moscow invaded Ukraine in late February, oil prices soared further and international sanctions on Russia, a major oil-producing country, began to bite.
Currently, a barrel of crude oil sells for over $ 120 in both London and New York.
Energy prices across the United States in May were nearly 35% higher than in the same month in 2021, according to government data.
As a result, consumer prices in the United States rose overall, rising 8.6% year-on-year in May. This is the first record in 40 years.
As the summer vacation season approaches, Americans have long been fond of gas-intensive heavy-duty vehicles and can expect further energy prices to rise.
It will put more pressure on consumers who are already suffering from rising prices for food (up 10.1% in May), homes, cars and health care.
All this complicates Biden’s position. For months, he has sought to reassure Americans that his administration is doing everything in its power to lower prices without compromising economic recovery.
But in November, Americans vote to elect all members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Opinion polls show that voters cite economy, inflation and high gas prices as top priorities.
On Friday, the president again blamed the US oil industry and warned that “don’t use the challenges posed by the war in Ukraine as a reason to make things worse for families with excessive profit taking and price increases.” did. “”