Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | December 9, 2013

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, December 9, 2013) The national average price of gasoline has fallen nine of 12 days since Thanksgiving. This follows a streak of 15 consecutive daily increases leading up to the holiday.  Today’s national average price at the pump is six cents more expensive than one month ago, but it is fractions of a penny less expensive than one week ago and remains eight cents less than the same date last year.  While the 126-day streak of year-over-year discounts continues, the yearly savings is at its narrowest mark since August 8.


Retail gas prices nationwide moved lower following the end of the summer driving season in September and approaching Thanksgiving, as plentiful supplies, flat demand and falling crude oil prices combined for welcome and often dramatic relief at the pump for motorists.  Price-movement over the last several weeks has been a mixed bag at the state level, and while pump prices in 20 states have continued to march lower, prices in 30 states and Washington, D.C. have drifted higher.  These monthly declines have been led by drops of more than a dime in Montana, Hawaii, Wyoming and Colorado and more than 20 cents in Utah and Idaho.  Rising prices have included a 22-cent increase in Florida and increases of more than dime in 12 other states and D.C.


Underlying the recent volatility in state average gas prices has been the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil.  After 15 straight weeks above $100 per barrel, WTI begins an eighth consecutive week below this threshold, even after settling higher every day last week on positive economic news including a rosier than expected job report on Friday that built on bullish global indicators earlier in the week.  A stronger economy – both domestically and overseas – puts upward pressure on crude oil prices as more robust economies are expected to use more oil.

After closing last week with the highest settlement since October, the price of WTI pulled back slightly today.  At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX WTI settled 31 cents lower at $97.34 per barrel.

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