VIRGINIA BEACH — Short days and messy weather are combining to lower gasoline demand, but the rising price of oil as fears of a global economic recession ease resulted in the national average for a gallon of gas rising by five cents last week to $3.32.
“Gasoline demand is usually lackluster this time of year,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist, “and it likely won’t start to tick up until spring break draws near. So, the primary factor in this latest increase is the higher cost of oil, which accounts for more than half of what you pay at the pump.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, gas demand barely budged last week, rising slightly from 7.51 million to 7.56 million barrels a day. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks rose from 222.7 million barrels to 226.8 million. The flat gasoline demand and increased supply are contributing to limit pump price increases, according to AAA.
Today’s national average of $3.32 is 17 cents more than a month ago and a penny more than a year ago.
Locally, the gas price average for the commonwealth increased landing at $3.22 — five cents higher than a week ago and 20 cents higher than a month ago. In Hampton Roads, prices increased two cents to $3.17, which is 26 cents higher than last month and eight cents higher than a year ago.