The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose Thursday for the 20th consecutive day, increasing six-tenths of a cent to $4.166, its highest amount since Oct. 21, 2019.

The average price has increased 14 cents over the past 20 days, including six-tenths of a cent Wednesday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 4.4 cents more than one week ago, 18.5 cents higher than one month ago and $1.307 greater than one year ago.

The average price has risen 93.4 cents since the start of the year, mainly because of a run of 59 increases in 60 days totaling 57.9 cents that ended March 21.

The Orange County average price rose for the 16th time in 17 days, increasing eighth-tenths of a cent to $4.126, its highest amount since Oct. 21, 2019. It has risen 11.8 cents over the past 17 days, including two-tenths of a cent Wednesday.

The Orange County average price is 3.9 cents more than one week ago, 17.5 cents higher than one month ago and $1.312 greater than one year ago. It has risen 91.8 cents since the start of the year, mainly because of a run of 72 increases in 73 days totaling 68.1 cents that ended March 20.

The large price increases from one year ago are the result of significant decreases during the early stage of the coronavirus pandemic, when driving and demand dropped substantially because of stay-at-home orders intended to reduce the spread of the virus.

A more appropriate comparison would be with the average prices from two years ago. The Los Angeles County average price is 9.5 cents more than it was on May 13, 2019, while the Orange County average price is 8.2 cents more.

The California Energy Commission reported Wednesday that both refinery production and gasoline inventory are up slightly.

“That may slow down or stop price increases going forward but we will have to wait and see if those trends continue into next week and beyond,” Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California, told City News Service.

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