Growing fuel demand and tight regional supplies are contributing to soaring pump prices, according to AAA, and Idaho drivers are likely feeling pain at the pump this week. The most recent average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.60, which is 15 cents more than a week ago and 18 cents more than a month ago. The national average currently sits at $3.47, which is four cents cheaper than a week ago and 16 cents more than a month ago. Idaho currently ranks 12th in the country for most expensive fuel and is likely to be back in the top 10 soon, according to AAA.
“Gas prices have been climbing across the U.S. since the beginning of the year, but the big surge hit other parts of the country first. Now, the other shoe has dropped, with price hikes reaching Idaho,” AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said in a statement. “With a mixed economic outlook and the continued prospect of winter weather, pump prices could be on a real roller coaster this week.”
Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced plans to maintain its current level of crude oil production, which reassured the market and helped crude prices fall. On the other hand, a U.S. report that indicated that 517,000 jobs were added to the economy in January, dropping unemployment rates to a 54-year low of 3.4%, could have the opposite effect. As the market attempts to calculate the likelihood of a recession, crude oil prices, and, in turn, gas prices, could fluctuate this week. The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $74 per barrel, which is about $4 cheaper than a week ago and the same as a month ago.
Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices compared with a week ago:
Boise – $3.76 (+23 cents)
Coeur d’Alene – $3.24 (no change)
Franklin – $3.57 (+19 cents)
Idaho Falls – $3.45 (+15 cents)
Lewiston – $3.58 (no change)
Pocatello – $3.64 (+23 cents)
Rexburg – $3.60 (+6 cents)
Twin Falls – $3.66 (+20 cents)