Although the national average U.S. gasoline price fell slightly by 0.3 cents per gallon last week, declines are likely to be temporary, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at fuel-saving app GasBuddy.
U.S. gasoline prices fell for a second consecutive week last week, as oil prices were under intense selloff with the banking sector jitters in the United States and Europe.
Last week, the average price of gasoline in America dropped by 0.3 cents from a week ago to $3.40 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is now 7.8 cents higher compared to a month ago but 83 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, De Haan said. The national average price of diesel has fallen by 5.9 cents in the last week to $4.19 per gallon. That's 92.7 cents lower than a year ago.
In the week to March 19, gasoline prices had dropped by 3 cents from the previous week.
Last Thursday, AAA said that gasoline demand was soaring as better driving weather put motorists back on the road, but the banking sector turmoil weighed on oil prices, mitigating a rise in gasoline prices.
Commenting on the slight decline in the week to March 26, GasBuddy's De Haan said, "The national average price of gasoline has seen little overall change over the last week, with big decreases in states like Colorado and Ohio offset by large increases in Arizona and North Carolina."
"While more states saw declines than increases, any downward trends are still likely to be temporary and not necessarily long lasting," De Haan added.
The start of the second half of the refinery maintenance season could also move gasoline prices higher in some states, he added.
"You never know what the closing moments will look like, and motorists could be in for a dramatic ride if issues develop."
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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