Gas prices in Northern California increased by 4 cents in the past month, and with the economy showing signs of recovery, further increases could be in store for the busy summer driving season.
The average price in the region of a gallon of gasoline is now $3.11, and the cost of driving is even more expensive in San Francisco, where the average price is $3.20, according to the latest reports from AAA.
The $3.20 cost marks an 82-cent increase in the past year, and a still-struggling job market is one of the factors keeping prices from skyrocketing even more, according to AAA spokesman Matt Skryja.
“Traders are still waiting on solid job growth before they’re willing to invest in oil,” Skryja said. “Once the job market shows improvement … gas prices should follow.”
Although job growth has been slow, investor trading — now the dominant force in determining fuel costs — could spur higher prices. If the early signs of a full economic recovery prove fruitful, massive investment could follow.
“If the economy continues to show signs of improvement, that will likely impact the cost of gas in a more-expensive manner,” Skryja said.
He said gas prices are likely to rise anyway for the summer season, due to traditional factors of gas mixing and increased demand.
At $3.11, the cost of gas in Northern California is 25 cents more than the national average. At $3.20, San Francisco has the third-most-expensive gas in Northern California.
Cheapest gas in SF
$2.99 Ocean Avenue Service Station, Ocean and Miramar avenues