WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Drivers across South Florida may have noticed that more gas stations are selling fuel at $5 a gallon as prices continue to climb higher.
Some analysts predict the national average price of gas could soon rise to $6 per gallon and at least $5 per gallon in Florida.
The average price of gas in Palm Beach County is now at $4.90, AAA reported Monday. This continues to be the highest average price for regular unleaded in Florida.
"It's very expensive right now," Carlos Harrara said.
Prices at the pump aren’t getting any lower.
"It’s crazy. I'm poor," Gloria Escoear said. "I have three kids. I'm a single mother, and it's very hard."
RELATED: Check gas prices in your area
The average price for gas in the state is now $4.76.
Patrick De Haan, the lead petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, tweeted Monday that he expects the national average to hit $5 a gallon by June 10.
Now expecting national average to hit $5/gal by June 10, one week earlier than expected. https://t.co/nQMQKTM9Ut— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) June 6, 2022
The national average for a gallon of gas surged 25 cents in one week to hit $4.86, which is 59 cents more than a month ago, and $1.81 more than a year ago.
The cost of a barrel of oil is nearing $120, nearly double from last August, as increased oil demand outpaces the tight global supply, according to AAA.
"People are still fueling up, despite these high prices," Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said. "At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet."
A Shell gas station located at PGA Boulevard and Interstate 95 in Palm Beach Gardens was selling regular fuel for $5.09 Monday afternoon. The price was $5.19 if the buyer used credit.
"What do you do? You’re caught between the devil and the deep blue sea," Rob Ralston, a West Palm Beach gas station customer, said.
If you drove down Dixie Highway on Monday, you probably noticed the gas prices ranged from $4.69 to $5.19 per gallon. The average price per gallon has been hovering around $5 per gallon for weeks.
"Gasoline supply is low. It's at its lowest seasonally since 2014 and of course, we had to Russian invasion of Ukraine that's pushed up oil prices significantly," De Haan said. "So basically everything that could go wrong, is going wrong."
Some analysts are now saying the national average per gallon is expected to rise to $6 by Labor Day.
"That’s a possibility. But I would say that anything's a possibility, but is it likely?" De Haan asked. "At this point, I wouldn't say it's likely, but it could become likely, especially if there’s a major hurricane, or refinery disruption this summer."
WPTV asked De Haan if he thought price gouging is a factor and he said in most cases, that’s not the case.
"I'll say that 99.99% of the stations they're simply passing along the high cost that they themselves are paying," he said.
Many are wondering when will things improve. With gasoline supply low and people eager to travel this summer, De Haan said it's hard to tell.
"Unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of it is going to improve any time soon," he said.
Nation's top 10 most expensive states for gas:
- California ($6.34)
- Nevada ($5.49)
- Hawaii ($5.47)
- Oregon ($5.41)
- Washington ($5.40)
- Illinois ($5.40)
- Alaska ($5.37)
- Washington, D.C. ($5.06)
- Michigan ($5.05)