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    AAA Fuel Gauge Report: Too Soon to Say if Prices Have Peaked

    Much of the country still has to transition to summer-blend gasoline.

    NEW YORK -- Gasoline prices continue to inch down, reaching a national average of $3.70 per gallon yesterday. While the price is 12 cents higher than a month ago, it is 5 cents less than a week ago and 10 cents less than a year ago.

    Yesterday's drop in pump prices marked 12 straight days of declining prices, which is the longest streak of falling prices this year, according to the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report.

    March started off on a good note for motorists, with the national average dropping 9 cents. This trend is different than the same time period in the past two years, when prices increased by 17 cents and 6 cents in 2011 and 2012, respectively, the association noted.

    However, it is too early to tell if the recent drop in prices mean that retail prices have peaked for the spring, the AAA report said, because there is still refinery maintenance to be completed and much of the country must still transition to summer-blend gasoline. Even if prices do increase, AAA continues to predict that the national average will likely crest lower and earlier than recent years. In 2011, the national average for regular unleaded peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6. The highest price to date in 2013 was $3.79 on Feb. 27.

    The majority of motorists across the country are currently feeling their pain at the pump ease as prices in 44 states and Washington, D.C., dipped below where they stood one week ago. The most dramatic declines during this period have taken place in several Midwestern states and Kentucky, while only drivers in Hawaii, Oregon, Alaska, Wyoming, Washington and Montana are paying more than they were last Monday, March 4, according to AAA.

    Despite the recently lower prices in many parts of the country, motorists in every state with the exceptions of Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Delaware and Ohio, are paying more to fill up their cars than one month ago, the report added.

     

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