Average gas price in Los Angeles County rises for 19th consecutive day

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose for the 19th consecutive day Wednesday, increasing 8.5 cents to $5.545.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose for the 19th consecutive day Wednesday, increasing 8.5 cents to $5.545.

The average price has increased 29.9 cents over the past 19 days, including 2.6 cents Tuesday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 12.7 cents more than one week ago, 20.7 cents higher than one month ago, and $1.144 greater than one year ago.

The average price is 91.7 cents less than the record high of $6.462 set June 14.

"It's not shocking anymore," said South L.A. resident Oliver Mack Calhoun. "Gas prices used to be shocking but now it's just normal. So it's something that I'm just used to."

The Orange County average price rose 9 cents to $5.52. It is 13.3 cents more than one week ago, 28.1 cents higher than one month ago and $1.163 greater than one year ago.

The Orange County average price has dropped 89 cents since rising to a record $6.41 on June 12.

Nationally, after sinking every day for more than three months, U.S. gas prices edged higher - by a penny - to $3.68 a gallon, on average Wednesday, according to the Automobile Association of America.

That ends 98 consecutive days of falling pump prices, the second-longest such streak on record going back to 2005.

The last time the national average price for gasoline rose was June 14, when it hit a record of $5.02. Prices fell every day since then and Thursday would have marked the 100th straight day of declines.

The plunge in gas prices was driven by a series of factors, including stronger supply and weaker demand as drivers balked at high prices and the unprecedented releases of emergency oil by the White House.

Another major factor that had been driving gas prices lower: Growing concerns of a global recession that could hurt demand for gas. People who lose jobs don't have to drive to work, and even those with jobs pull back on their spending during recessions.

The strong dollar also helped bring down the price of gas because crude oil is priced in dollars. That means each dollar can buy more oil than it would if the value of the currency was stable or falling. The dollar index, which compares the value of the greenback to major foreign currencies, is up 15% this year. That also means oil prices are rising faster for countries that don't use the dollar, which dampens global demand.

At the same time, Russia's oil flows have held up better than feared despite sanctions and the war in Ukraine. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the sanctions that followed, helped spark the steep rise in oil and gas prices. The average price the day of the invasion stood at $3.54 a gallon, just a bit lower than it is today. Russia's announcement Wednesday that it would increase its mobilization of troops helped lift crude oil futures 2% in global markets.

City News Service and the CNN Wire contributed to this report.