The state’s average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline surpassed its all-time high of $4.09 a gallon this week, according to AAA Colorado.
Average prices hit $4.10 on Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday morning, the price jumped another cent higher to $4.11.
Rising consumer demand is the key driver, said Skyler McKinley, spokesperson for AAA Colorado. Other factors include the limited supply of oil available on the global market, which is likely to drive even greater demand as more people travel this summer.
“Don’t expect prices to fall anytime soon,” McKinley said. “We will continue to see those rise well into the summer.”
The jump is a remarkable shift from a year ago, when one gallon of unleaded gasoline cost $3.02 on average. That represents a 36 percent increase year-over-year, and it’s similar to rising costs seen across the country for everything from food to used cars.
Prices for all goods rose an average of 8.3 percent year-over-year in April, according to the latest Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number represents the highest inflation rate seen in more than 40 years.
Gas prices are highest in Colorado’s mountain communities and the southwest portion of the state. Pitkin County holds the title of the highest price at $5.19 a gallon.
Prices along the Front Range are generally below the state’s average. Denver County’s average cost hit $4.08 on Wednesday morning.
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