U.S. gasoline tops $5 for first time

STORY: The price of U.S. gasoline averaged more than $5 a gallon for the first time on Saturday (June 11), data from the AAA has shown.

That extends a surge in fuel costs that are driving rising inflation and at one Washington D.C. gas station it's come as a surprise to residents like Carolina Baldi.

"So that's shocking. That's the most expensive that I ever paid for gas, ever."

While the nationwide average has passed $5, the pump price here for the cheapest octane was $5.43 a gallon.

"Maybe it's time to start biking more often, taking the scooters, so whenever I'm able to take a different type of transportation. We're thinking about changing to electric cars, so I guess all this is coming up to my mind for sure."

The issue is also causing a headache for U.S. President Joe Biden.

On Friday (June 10) he lambasted oil industry, and in particular ExonMobil, for capitalizing on short supply to fatten profits.

"Exxon made more money than God this year" he complained as he vowed to make sure that everyone knows the company's profits.

Biden has pulled on numerous levers to try to lower prices.

That includes a record release of barrels from U.S. strategic reserves and leaning on major OPEC countries to boost output.

But fuel prices continue to surge due to a combination of rebounding demand, a squeeze on refining capacity and sanctions on oil producer Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

Economists expect demand may start to decline if prices remain above $5 a barrel for a sustained period.