HONOLULU €" On Monday, Hawaii became the first state to average $4 per gallon gasoline, the Associated Press reports. According to AAA€™s Daily Fuel Report, the Aloha State has the highest pump prices in the United States, with California close behind with a $3.96 per gallon average. Alaska took the third spot with its $3.90 average.
Some analysts are concerned that rising fuel prices will crimp spending in other areas as the nation recovers from the recession. "$4 is definitely a psychological mark," said Marie Montgomery, spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Retailers know this and often try to avoid venturing into $4 territory as long as possible. "I€™m seeing in California, a lot of gas stations are almost like they're afraid to put that 4 on there," said Montgomery. "Nobody wants to be the first."
While some localities have reached $4 a gallon, Hawaii is the first state to hit that mark in three years. The highest average price of gasoline was in Wailuku in Maui, which climbed to $4.24 on Monday.
Jordan Kaneshiro, an employee at Shige's Service Station, said customers were complaining about the cost to fill up. "I pumped $100 today for one guy," he said. "The guy wanted a discount."
Nationally, the average pump price for regular gasoline reached $3.56 per gallon, 5 cents higher than a week ago and 43 cents more than last month. Soaring oil prices because of the Libyan crisis has squeezed worldwide supplies, shoving oil costs up around 24 percent higher during the last few weeks.