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Gasoline, diesel prices rise to another record amid rampant inflation

CNBC logo CNBC 12/05/2022 Pippa Stevens
  • Prices at the pump are at a record high.
  • The national average for a gallon of gasoline hit $4.418 on Thursday, according to AAA.
  • Retail diesel prices are also at an all-time high.
A gas station is seen as the average price of gasoline reach all-time high at $4.37 per gallon (about 3.8 liters) in Virginia, USA on May 10, 2022. It's claimed that gasoline prices vary by region. © Provided by CNBC A gas station is seen as the average price of gasoline reach all-time high at $4.37 per gallon (about 3.8 liters) in Virginia, USA on May 10, 2022. It's claimed that gasoline prices vary by region.

Retail diesel and gasoline prices climbed to another record high Thursday, as rampant inflation sends costs across the economy surging.

The national average for a regular gallon of gasoline hit $4.418 on Thursday, according to AAA. The price is not adjusted for inflation.

Prices had previously hit all-time highs on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Consumers are now paying 32 cents per gallon more than they were last month, which translates to $125 million more per day spent on gasoline, according to GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan.

Prices at the pump are $1.41 more per gallon than last year.

The national average crossed above $4 per gallon in March on the heels of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and it's remained above that mark since.

California has the highest state average at $5.853. In 10 counties across the state, average prices are now above $6.

Retail diesel prices also hit another record Thursday. The national average for a gallon is now $5.557, which is up 53 cents in the last month.

Part of the surge in prices is due to refiners — which turn crude oil into the products such as gasoline that are used daily — already running near full capacity.

Refining capacity is lower than pre-pandemic, while demand for petroleum products has rebounded as economies around the world resume operations. Lost products from Russia has further exacerbated an already tight market.

"All of our refinery margin indicators were in double-digit territory in April for the first time, regardless of region and complexity," the International Energy Agency said Thursday. "The current almost universal product shortage, low inventories and refinery capacity bottlenecks have led to inelastic short-term supply, pushing cracks for almost all products to extraordinarily high levels."

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