A report this week, however, sees a small silver lining.
According to AAA, the national average gas price actually dropped by one cent to $3.41 a gallon. It’s far from a significant drop, but a drop it is.
“According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.6 million bbl to 212.7 million bbl last week,” AAA said on its website. “Gasoline demand also dropped from 9.5 million b/d to 9.26 million b/d. The decrease in demand has contributed to some price relief at the pump for drivers. However, pump prices will likely remain elevated as long as oil prices are above $80 per barrel.”
The report added that “the total domestic crude supply is still down 11 percent compared to the previous year at this time, putting elevated price pressure on crude.” As for individual states, Michigan saw an increase in the average price of eleven cents, Arizona a rise of eight cents, and California a rise of three cents, since the previous Thursday.
On Monday, the Labor Department released its latest measure of the consumer price index (CPI), finding that it had risen 6.2 percent year over year, per CNBC. This represented the highest increase since 1990 and was ahead of analyst estimates of 5.9 percent.
Prices of gasoline increased the most of anything measured in the CPI, jumping 12.3 percent for the month and 59.1 percent year over year, per CNBC’s interpretation of the data.
“Inflation is clearly getting worse before it gets better, while the significant rise in shelter prices is adding to concerning evidence of a broadening in inflation pressures,” Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, told CNBC.
Following the CPI announcement, a piece in the publication the Intercept laid the price of gasoline, and therefore inflation itself, at the feet of a single person: Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, better known as MBS.
The argument goes that MBS has encouraged OPEC to withhold oil production as a punishment to the Biden Administration for their “increasingly standoffish attitude toward the kingdom,” which has included withdrawing support of the Saudi war in Yemen.
The Trump Administration, by contrast, had cultivated the Saudi regime, making Riyadh Trump’s first foreign trip in 2017, and looking the other way when MBS was widely believed to have orchestrated the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident journalist who lived in the United States and wrote for the Washington Post.
Apple today released its anticipated annual list of the best apps and games of the year across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch.