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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. drivers have seen little change in gas prices in recent days. The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose fractions of a cent to $3.35 this week, barely higher than the nine-month low registered one week ago, according to the latest AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
The last time the national average was less than $3.34 per gallon was on Jan. 25, after which prices increased by 49 cents in 41 days toward a 2013 high of $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27.
Although the national average was more expensive as of Oct. 21 than a week ago, it is 14 cents less per gallon than one month ago and 33 cents less than the same day last year. After declining for 36 consecutive days -- a multi-year record -- prices have been essentially flat for two weeks, increasing by less than half a cent since Oct. 7, AAA said.
Despite the pause in the price decline, AAA still expects gas prices to drop further approaching the end of this year due to sufficient supplies, flat demand and the shift to cheaper winter-blend gasoline, barring a hurricane or other unexpected disruption to production and distribution. The national average will likely fall to $3.10 to $3.20 per gallon by Christmas. This would mark the lowest price since February 2011.
Gas prices at the state level have seen more variation in recent days. Prices at the pump are higher in 17 states and Washington, D.C., than they were one week ago, including two states where they are more than a nickel higher (Georgia, up 5 cents, and Ohio, up 6 cents). Prices dropped in the remaining 33 states, led by two where they are more than a nickel lower (Washington, down 5 cents, and Montana, down 6 cents.)
Drivers in every state but South Carolina are paying less than they did one month ago, with seven states paying at least 20 cents less.