June 11, 2022 – Gasoline prices in the U.S. just hit $5 a gallon for the first time, and there’s little relief in sight. The milestone comes just as the peak summer driving season gets underway. Analysts warn gas prices are likely to go even higher still given that the global factors pushing up crude prices are unlikely to ease anytime soon.
Two main factors are driving the surge in gas prices: the recovery from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result of both of these factors, Brent crude prices, the global benchmark for oil, are trading above $120 a barrel after surging over 50% this year.
Gas prices have been a big driver of inflation, which has surged to its highest rate in nearly 40 years. Recent polls have consistently shown record gas prices and high inflation are a major contributor to pessimism about the state of the economy as the U.S. heads to midterm elections in November.