Surging gasoline prices eclipsed $5 for a gallon of regular unleaded over the weekend in a new nationwide average as Americans cope with inflation and high power prices.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline on Monday is $5.01, and $5.77 for a gallon of diesel, adding inflationary pressure to a struggling economy as costs for transportation and production spike.
The Biden administration’s response is simply to shrug, with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo saying on CNN last week, “The reality is that there isn’t much more to be done” on gas prices.
In May, analysts at JPMorgan Chase predicted Americans will face a nationwide average of $6.20 a gallon for regular unleaded later this summer. The average in California is already $6.44 per gallon, according to AAA.
On June 1, the official start of hurricane season, which puts a fragile power grid in jeopardy of blackouts, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned Americans to brace for an economic storm on the horizon.
“Right now, it’s kind of sunny, things are doing fine, everyone thinks the Fed can handle this,” Dimon said. “That hurricane is right out there, down the road, coming our way.”
On Friday, the Department of Labor revealed that inflation is already accelerating at a four-decade-high speed. Prices are up 8.6 percent from last year, and energy prices are up more than 34. The sticker shocks have sent consumer confidence plummeting. A new survey from the University of Michigan, also out Friday, revealed that Americans’ confidence in the economy is at a record low.
Wednesday will mark one month since President Joe Biden’s “unprecedented” release from the nation’s emergency oil reserves began. To coincide with the fall midterm election, Biden ordered that 1 million barrels of oil be released from the strategic petroleum reserves every day for 180 days. Americans, however, have faced near-daily record gas prices ever since, including a two-week streak since the traditional spring peak on Memorial Day.