OPEC may be scary, but…
A recent release of US…
U.S. national average gas prices have fallen by over 26 cents since this time last year, and drivers are set for more reprieve as the usual seasonal increase in prices could be delayed.
GasBuddy data released on Sunday shows that national average prices for a gallon of gas are declining once again, after a week of no movement in either direction, falling 4.3 cents from a week ago, 17.6 cents month-on-month.
Diesel prices have also fallen 7.7 cents in the past week, according to GasBuddy, now selling for an average of $4.38 per gallon.
AAA data is in line with GasBuddy, showing Monday’s national average at $3.365 per gallon, compared with $3.604 a year ago.
Signs that inflation remains entrenched could delay the seasonal increase in retail prices for gasoline. While core consumer inflation in January was 6.5%, far lower than last summer’s 9%, it is still nowhere near the 2% target of the Federal Reserve. This situation could translate into incentive for the Fed to hike interest rates again, which in turn could hinder consumer demand and keep gas prices lower.
“The national average has resumed its decline after a pause last week as oil and wholesale gasoline prices fell on worrisome inflation figures showing the Fed likely to ramp up rates to slow inflation,” GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan said, noting that nine out of 10 states saw declines last week.
The outliers were the West Coast, which is now transitioning to summer blends.
“For the weeks ahead, tradition tells us to expect prices to move up eventually, but that could be at least be partially offset by inflationary data that continues to be hotter than expected, leading to anxiety that the Fed will boost interest rates and cooling the economy and oil demand considerably,” De Haan said.
GasBuddy said the most common retail price per gallon was $3.19, down 10 cents from last week.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.57 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.77 per gallon.
Average gas prices were lowest in Texas ($2.87), Mississippi ($2.92), and Oklahoma ($2.93), and highest in Hawaii ($4.83), California ($4.72), and Nevada ($4.20).
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com