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The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell on Thursday ahead of the Christmas holiday, with prices now 19 cents cheaper per gallon than this time last year.
The national average for a gallon of gasoline has fallen four cents this week, to $3.101, despite demand for the fuel increasing last week from 8.26 million bpd to 8.71 million bpd, according to EIA data. Still, that demand figure is still 300,000 bpd lower than this time last year.
Gasoline inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels last week to 223.6 million barrels. With gasoline demand failing to rebound to last year’s levels and inventories increasing, prices have come down.
According to AAA data, Arizona and Idaho have seen the largest price decreases (18 cents) over the last week. Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan round out the list of states with the seven largest decreases.
Last week’s average gasoline prices in the United States were at $3.193 per gallon.
Gasoline prices rose steadily last year—a trend that was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the market worry about how Western sanctions would impact crude oil and crude products such as gasoline.
Prices have since come down, with gasoline prices easing 50 cents from the $3.636 per gallon that U.S. drivers saw this time last month.
GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan said earlier this week that U.S. gasoline prices could sink to sub-$3 per gallon by Christmas Eve—although there are still 10 cents to fall before reaching that target.
“As demand remains low and stocks rise, drivers will likely continue to see pump prices decrease through next year,” AAA said on their website on Thursday.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.