AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: October 2012 Trends and November Outlook

 (WASHINGTON, November 1, 2012)

Gas Prices Post Steep Decline of 26 Cents a Gallon in October

  • The national average price of gasoline dropped 26.2 cents a gallon (6.9 percent) in October, which was the steepest monthly decline since June. This was the fourth monthly decline in gas prices this year, and it was the largest decline for the month of October since 2008.
  • “Gas prices towards the end of October were dropping at the fastest speeds in nearly four years,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesperson. “If this trend continues as expected, motorists may soon be paying even less than last year to fill up their cars.”
  • The national average price of gas has dropped for 21 straight days, which is the longest consecutive decline since the middle of June.
  • The average price of gas dropped by 14 cents (3.8 percent) a gallon from Oct. 19-26, which was the steepest week-over-week decline since the end of 2008.
  • The average price of gas in California has dropped 59.6 cents a gallon (12.8 percent decline) since reaching an all-time high of $4.671 a gallon on Oct. 9. Other states with significant price declines in October included Minn. (-57¢), Okla. (-49¢), Mo. (-45¢) and Kan. (-45¢).
  • Despite the steep declines in October, gas prices remain at record highs for this time of year. The national average has broken a daily record high for 74 consecutive days since Aug. 20 for a total of 188 days (61 percent) in 2012. The annual average price of gas remains the most expensive on record through the end of October. The average price of gas in 2012 is $3.65 a gallon, which compares to $3.55 a gallon in 2011 and $3.52 a gallon in 2008 through October 31.


 Gas Prices Predicted to Fall through Thanksgiving Despite Hurricane Sandy

  • AAA expects that gas prices across the country will continue to drop through the end of the year, assuming a smooth restart to production following Hurricane Sandy.  AAA predicts the national average price of gas will be between $3.40-3.50 a gallon by Election Day and between $3.25-3.40 a gallon by Thanksgiving.
  • “It is possible that gas prices could drop by 40 cents a gallon nationally between now and the end of the year,” continued Ash.  “A significant decline in gas prices by the holiday travel season would be welcome news for motorists that have paid record-high prices for much of the year.”
  • Gas prices generally drop in November as demand declines and because refineries are producing less expensive winter-blend gasoline. Average gas prices dropped about 15 cents a gallon last year in November.
  • Hurricane Sandy should have only a limited effect on gas prices. The Northeast is a significant gasoline consumer and not a major producer, so it is expected that the decline in demand from people staying home during the storm will outweigh any disruption in gasoline production.

Today’s Gas Prices (Nov. 1, 2012)

  • Today’s national average price of gasoline is $3.507 a gallon, which is nine cents less than a week ago, but seven cents more than a year ago.
  • The five states with the highest prices include: Hawaii ($4.32), Alaska (4.21), Calif. ($4.08), N.Y. ($3.93) and Conn. ($3.89). The five states with the lowest prices include: Mo. ($3.15), S.C. ($3.20), Okla. ($3.23), Tenn. ($3.28) and Minn. ($3.30).

AAA’s average gas prices are updated daily at with average national, state and local retail prices for gasoline, diesel and E-85. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

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