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2022-09-21 14:00:10

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.

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.

Another major factor that had been driving gas prices lower: Growing concerns of a global recession that could hurt demand for gas. People who lose jobs don't have to drive to work, and even those with jobs pull back on their spending during recessions.

The strong dollar also helped to bring down the price of gas, because crude oil is priced in dollars. That means each dollar can buy more oil than it would if the value of the currency was stable or falling. The dollar index, which compares the value of the greenback to major foreign currencies, is up 15% this year. That also means oil prices are rising faster for countries that don't use the dollar, which dampens global demand.

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