FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Gas prices in Connecticut have continued to increase over the past week, with Fairfield County's average price well above both statewide and nationwide averages.
Growing demand, decreasing inventories and rising crude oil prices are to blame for the increase in gas prices both in Connecticut and across the country, according to AAA. The state's average gas price at the beginning of this week was $2.44, about two cents higher than it was last week. That price is 11 cents higher than it was at this time last year.
Nationally, the average gas price increased three cents to $2.28 compared to this time last week. Today's national price is one cent higher than it was at this time last year, according to AAA.
"Because of a global oil glut, gas prices have remained relatively low for most of the year," AAA said in a press release. However, an increase in demand this summer has started draining the global inventories, and the United States continues to step up its own oil production to offset the inventory drop. Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to urge major oil-producing countries to comply with struct production cuts as a way to rebalance the market, according to AAA.
The average gas prices for the Greater Bridgeport/Stamford area at the beginning of this week was $2.52, according to AAA. The average in New Haven/Meriden was $2.40, in the Greater Hartford area it was $2.42, and in New London/Norwich it was $2.47.
South Carolina has the lowest average in the nation, at $1.99, followed by Alabama at $2.00. Hawaii and California topped the list of highest averages, with $3.04 and $2.91, respectively. Connecticut ranked 11th place on the list of states with the most expensive gas averages in the country.
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