Price Of Gasoline Reaches New 44-Month Low

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 20, 2014) With oil prices sharply lower over the last several weeks, the national average pump price has followed suit and has now dropped on 25 consecutive days. This tumble has sent the national average to a low not seen since early 2011 and increased the likelihood that the national price at the pump could test the $3.00 per gallon mark for the first time since 2010.

Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.10 per gallon, representing the lowest price since February 1, 2011. The national average has fallen by a dime since one week ago and is 25 cents less than both one month and one year ago. This year-over-year gap has reached its widest mark since March.

Drivers are savings an average of 60 cents per gallon compared to the 2014 high of $3.70 (April 28), and pump prices have tumbled 10 percent since Labor Day when the national average registered $3.44 per gallon. For every penny that the national average falls (were the lower price sustained over the course of a year) more than one billion dollars per year in additional consumer spending is estimated to be freed up.

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Motorists in 17 states now pay an average price below $3.00 per gallon. The nation’s 10 most expensive markets are composed primarily of states on the West Coast and in the Northeast led by: Hawaii ($4.08), Alaska ($3.80), California ($3.50) and New York ($3.45). On the other end of the spectrum, consumers in Missouri are paying $2.77 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, a low unseen in the state since 2010.

Compared to one week ago, the average price at the pump is down in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Motorists in 23 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon week-over-week with the largest discounts in Kentucky (-17 cents), Indiana (-16 cents) and Georgia (-14 cents). There are two states where the price has ticked upward over this same period: Ohio (+3 cents) and Michigan (fractions of a penny).

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The average price paid by drivers to refuel their vehicles is down in every state and Washington, D.C. both month-over-month and year-over-year. In comparison to this same date last month, consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are saving 15 cents per gallon or more at the pump, and of this total there are 24 states where the price has fallen by a quarter or more per gallon. The Western states of Washington and Oregon (both down 40 cents) are registering the largest discounts over this period, followed by Kentucky and Colorado (down 39 cents). Year-over-year, 47 states and Washington D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon at the pump and 25 states are registering discounts of a quarter or more led by Kentucky (-42 cents), Indiana (-40 cents) and Delaware (-36 cents).

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Geopolitical tensions in Iraq continue to be viewed by market watchers as posing a minimal threat to the region’s oil production. Sentiment for crude oil prices has remained bearish and it is speculated that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will continue to protect its market share by sustaining current levels of production rather than cutting output to increase the global price of oil. OPEC member countries are responsible for 40 percent of the world’s oil production and are scheduled to convene on November 27 in Vienna to discuss whether to sustain or reduce production. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed out last week by settling up a nickel at $82.75 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. WTI was trading slightly lower to open the day today.

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