Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | January 6, 2014

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, January 6, 2014) Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.32 per gallon. This is a fraction of a penny more expensive than one week ago, five cents more than one month ago and two cents more than the same date last year.  After increasing on 15 consecutive days, the national average has now declined for three straight days, but has fallen less than a penny total during this span.

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Pump prices in every state and Washington, D.C. are higher than two weeks ago, including a handful of states where prices have jumped a dime or more per gallon.  Recent refinery issues, particularly in the Midwest, had pressured prices higher, but states have begun to see declines as refineries resolve issues and produce more gasoline. Additionally, recent cold temperatures in much of the country have been seen as potentially decreasing demand for gasoline but increasing demand for heating oil, with a net impact on prices still difficult to determine.  The largest one-week declines in the nation have been in Indiana (-9 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Ohio (-11 cents), while the largest one-week increases have been in Minnesota (+7 cents) and Pennsylvania (+10 cents).

The national average has drifted higher since reaching a multi-year low of $3.18 on November 12, when six states averaged below $3 per gallon. While the national average has increased 14 cents from this low, and no state average is currently below $3.00 per gallon, motorists in five states still pay an average price that is within a dime of this threshold.

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After settling above $100 per barrel for one day on December 27 – ending a streak of nine consecutive weeks below the triple digit threshold – West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices have settled lower each trading day since. This sharp decline to end 2013 and begin 2014 has been attributed to a stronger U.S. dollar, the return to the global market of Libyan crude and continued concerns surrounding weak domestic demand for gasoline.  The decline continued today as WTI prices settled 53 cents lower at $93.43 per barrel.  Including today’s decline, WTI prices have fallen $6.89 (6.86 percent) from their recent high and are nearing the November 18 settlement price of $93.03 per barrel, which was the lowest price since May.

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