Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | May 6, 2013
(WASHINGTON, May 6, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.52. This price is two cents more expensive than one week ago, but it remains 9 cents less than one month ago and 26 cents less than one year ago. After registering a week-over-week decline every day since March 1 (61 consecutive days), the national average has posted a week-over-week increase for six straight days. The national average is currently 27 cents below the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on February 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
Since national gas prices peaked at the end of February, motorists nationwide have felt welcome relief at the pump in the form of falling prices. In recent weeks, the exception to this downward trend was limited to six states in the Great Lakes region where the transition to summer-blend gasoline and heavy rains triggered supply concerns and provided a catalyst for higher retail prices. While these remain the only states with a higher average pump price today than a month ago (Ill. +15 cents, Ind. +12 cents, Ohio +10 cents, Wisc. +8 cents, Mich. +7 cents and Minn. +2 cents), motorists in the majority of states are paying more today than one week ago.
Higher prices in the Great Lakes region were initially the product of domestic production concerns; however the recent broader increase in retail gas prices has been supported by higher global crude oil prices. On April 17 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $86.68 at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. At the close today the traditional U.S. benchmark settled at $96.16 — up 55 cents on the day and almost $10 in less than three weeks.
These higher oil prices have been broadly supported by signs of economic recovery, however news over the weekend of an Israeli airstrike in Syria raised fresh concerns of a possible disruption to oil supplies in the Middle East and added to the upward pressure on prices. In the spring of both 2011 and 2012 oil prices rose substantially on violence and escalating geopolitical tensions with Libya and Iran respectively, before tumbling as these concerns were alleviated heading into the summer.