Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | October 1, 2012
(WASHINGTON, October 1, 2012) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.78. This is three cents cheaper than one week ago and five cents cheaper than one month ago, but 35 cents more expensive than this day in 2011. For six straight weeks the daily national average price has set a new all-time record for the calendar day. While prices are likely to decrease, this streak is expected to continue heading into the end of the year. However, there are some signs of relief for motorists as prices have now fallen for 16 of 17 days, and the national average has now registered four straight days of month-over-month declines after 68 consecutive days of increases.
While the national average price at the pump has declined steadily since mid-September, this price relief has not been spread evenly across the country. Lower global crude prices, bearish economic news, the end to the busy summer driving season and the switchover from more expensive summer-blend gasoline have all meant lower prices for drivers in the majority of states. The exception has been in the Northeast and West Coast where extremely tight supplies have seen prices move higher. Drivers in 14 states, almost exclusively in these regions, are paying more today than they paid one week ago. The exception to this list is Ohio, where prices are slightly more than a penny more expensive than last week but are more than 16 cents less expensive than one month ago. Lower crude prices combined with high wholesale gasoline prices give refineries supplying Northeast and West Coast markets incentive to get back to full production capacity after planned and unplanned maintenance, but pump prices in these regions are likely to be slower to decline until stocks recover to more adequate levels.
Crude oil prices continued to decline last week, pulling back from a recent mid-September peak. Less than two weeks after settling at a more than five-month high of $99 on September 14, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil briefly settled below $90 per barrel last Wednesday for the first time since August 2. These declines have resulted from a spate of bearish global economic news, as a weaker global economy is expected to demand less crude oil. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI futures had increased 29 cents to settle at $92.48 per barrel.