¡Lo nunca visto! precio de gasolina en EEUU llega a $ 5 por galón / Gas hits $5 a gallon for the first time. Here’s how it got here and what’s ahead

WASHINGTON.- El precio de un galón de gasolina (3,78 litros) en Estados Unidos alcanzó este sábado los 5 dólares, un récord jamás antes alcanzado y que se da cuando el país vive la inflación más elevada en cuarenta años.

Según publicó este sábado la federación de asociaciones automovilísticas AAA, el precio medio de un galón de carburante en las gasolineras del país se situó este sábado en los 5,004 dólares, algo que no había ocurrido nunca antes.

Los analistas de AAA, además, esperan que el precio de la gasolina siga subiendo durante los meses de verano.
Hace un año, en junio de 2021, el precio medio del galón de gasolina (la medida que usan las gasolineras en EE.UU., en lugar del litro) se ubicaba en 3,07 dólares, es decir, prácticamente dos dólares por debajo del actual.

En 20 de los 50 estados de EE.UU. los precios están por encima de los 5 dólares por galón, especialmente en la costa oeste del país.

Ayer se conoció que la inflación de Estados Unidos se disparó en mayo hasta su tasa más alta de los últimos 40 años, el 8,6 %, una nueva escalada de los precios de consumo que vino empujada sobre todo por el fuerte encarecimiento de la energía.

El incremento mensual de los precios de consumo entre marzo y abril fue del 1 %.

Gas prices in the U.S. (AAA)

El dato publicado el viernes por la Oficina de Estadísticas Laborales de EE.UU. fue superior a lo que esperaban los analistas y acabó con la tregua de abril, cuando la tasa registró su primera bajada en siete meses.

La nueva escalada hace más probable la ya previsible nueva subida de medio punto de los tipos de interés por parte de la Reserva Federal (Fed), que se reúne la semana que viene.

La histórica subida de los precios de consumo se ve empujada sobre todo por el encarecimiento de la energía y también aunque en menor medida por el alza de los precios de la vivienda y los alimentos.

Los precios de la energía (gasolina, crudo, electricidad y gas) aumentaron un 34,6 % en los últimos doce meses, empujados por el precio del crudo, que subió un 106,7 %, el mayor aumento anual que registra esta estadística desde que comenzó a elaborarse en 1935.

EFE

Gas hits $5 a gallon for the first time. Here’s how it got here and what’s ahead

Gasoline prices in the U.S. just hit $5 a gallon for the first time, and there’s little relief in sight.

Average national prices rose to $5.004 on Saturday, according to AAA, though that’s not adjusted for inflation. The milestone comes just as the peak summer driving season gets underway.

In 10 states, a gallon of gas now costs more than $5
The news is unlikely to surprise many drivers given that gas prices have already surged above that level in a handful of states, including in California and Nevada, putting a big dent in family budgets across the country.

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.

Here are four things to know.

How did gas prices get so high?
Two main factors are driving the surge in gas prices: the recovery from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Crude prices tumbled during the pandemic, even going negative at one point, but demand has come roaring back.

Oil prices have gained even further recently on hopes China, the world’s largest consumer of energy, would ease some of the restrictions and lockdowns imposed during a spike of Covid-19 cases, though the country went back on a a state of alert this week.

The surge in energy prices has also been magnified by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The invasion has led the U.S. and its allies to impose a wide range of sanctions against Russia, and the European Union has even implemented an oil ban, a big step for a region dependant on Russian energy exports.

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.

How is this impacting the economy and people?
Predictably, not too well.

Gas prices have been a big driver of inflation, which has surged to its highest rate in nearly 40 years.

The pain at the gas pump is putting a serious dent in many household budgets and it’s also starting to force people to adapt.

Marlon Iberra, for example, says he now has to think about where he’s driving in traffic-clogged Los Angeles.

“It’s tough to want to just go anywhere on a whim as we were doing before,” he says.

“Now you have to put some thought into it. Is this going to be worth the price of gas?”

He’s grateful that he works from home most days, and only has to commute two days a week.

President Biden announcing the U.S. would tap its emergency oil reserves at the White House on March 31.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

“If I were going on a normal basis of every single day, I’d be looking about about $100 in gas a week,” he adds.

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.

Oil companies are also under pressure from shareholders not to chase high oil prices too much given the industry’s history of boom-and-bust cycles.

Biden has also called on oil cartel OPEC+ to significantly increase prodution.

The group this month announced it would lift production modestly, but data shows that a handful of OPEC+ countries are producing well below their current allotments because of different challenges faced by members.

So will gas price ease anytime soon?
Quite simply, no, unless there is a major unexpected development.

The oil ban on Russia is further exacerbating the supply-demand imbalance in global energy markets and that’s unlikely to be resolved soon.

In addition, refineries, which process crude into products such as gasoline, are struggling to ramp up output as total capacity across the industry has been constrained by several factors, including lack of investments and natural disasters.

In fact, analysts are warning Americans to brace for even higher gas prices.

According to JPMorgan, average national gas prices could surge above $6 by August, making another grim milestone for drivers across the country.

BRITTANY CRONIN