By Matt Egan, CNN Business
The historic streak of falling gasoline prices is over.
After sinking every day for more than three months, US gas prices edged higher — by a penny — to $3.68 a gallon, on average Wednesday, according to AAA.
That ends 98 consecutive days of falling pump prices, the second-longest such streak on record going back to 2005.
The last time the national average price for gasoline rose was June 14, when it hit a record of $5.02. Prices fell every day since then and Thursday would have marked the 100th straight day of declines.
The plunge in gas prices was driven by a series of factors, including stronger supply and weaker demand as drivers balked at high prices and unprecedented releases of emergency oil by the White House.
At the same time, Russia’s oil flows have held up better than feared despite sanctions and the war in Ukraine.
Cheaper gas has been a major boost to the US economy, easing inflationary pressure and giving Americans extra cash to spend.
A one-cent rise in gas prices is not a meaningful change for most drivers, and prices could slump again as global economic concerns grow along with fears that demand for fuel will keep sinking.
Yet if gas prices begin to rise that could undermine the Biden administration and the Fed’s efforts to keep inflation in check. Falling gas prices are the sole reason America’s consumer prices have remained steady overall during the past few months after rising sharply in 2021 and the beginning part of this year.
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