LIMA — Gas prices in the Lima region increased just 1 cent since last week, though several other area counties experienced a steeper hike.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $2.19 early Monday, up from $2.18 last week, according to GasBuddy.com. It was also up 12 cents from last month’s average of $2.07, and is 35 cents higher than last year’s average of $1.84.
In all, seven area counties experienced higher gas prices over the last week. The largest increase was 12 cents in Auglaize and Logan counties, along with a 9 cent hike in Van Wert County. The only counties that did not experience higher prices were Hardin County, which stayed the same, and Shelby County, which saw its prices fall by 4 cents.
Shelby County also had the lowest average price in the region at $2.05, followed by Hardin ($2.07), Hancock ($2.12), Van Wert ($2.15), Mercer ($2.18), Allen ($2.19), Putnam ($2.20), Logan ($2.23) and Auglaize ($2.24) counties.
The average price in Ohio was $2.22 early Monday, making it the 20th least-expensive state in the country. Ohio’s prices rose 10.5 cents per gallon from the previous week. This compares with the national average, which has increased 2.4 cents in the last week to $2.31.
“Gasoline prices are starting to pick up steam as a majority of states see their average rise over last week, a function of the season’s theatrics coming into view: refinery maintenance and the transition to cleaner gasoline pumping up prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.
DeHaan added that the upward trend in prices may lag in some states as winter gas inventories are purged.
“However, as we grow closer to baseball’s Opening Day, the nation’s motorists will be more likely to strikeout when trying to find $1.99 gas prices, which remain at just 8,000 stations across just a handful of states,” he said.
“In a sign of what’s to come in some of the nation’s largest cities, motorists in southern California have become the first in the lower 48 states to see the ugly ‘3’ showing up on gas station displays at street level.”
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.