Why Are Gas Prices Dropping?
Pump prices fell by a few pennies or less in most states the past week as lower oil prices offset higher demand for gas that typically drives up prices this time of year. The national average for regular gas was $2.40 a gallon on Thursday, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That's 2 cents lower than a week ago. Premium gas was unchanged at $2.92, and diesel fuel was a penny lower at $2.53.
AAA noted that gasoline deliveries during March were the second highest ever for that month — a sign that motorists are doing more driving with the arrival of spring weather. Higher demand for gas, plus an annual switch in many parts of the country to summer gasoline blends that are more expensive to produce, usually results in higher pump prices this time of year. The switch to summer blends has to be completed by May 1, so the bulk of that change has already happened.
Here's what's going on with gas prices across the U.S.:
- South Carolina had the lowest statewide average for regular at $2.11 a gallon, followed by Oklahoma at $2.14 and Mississippi and Tennessee at $2.16.
- Hawaii had the highest average price, $3.08, followed by California, $3.01, Alaska, $2.95, and Washington, $2.91.
- A recent decline in oil prices has helped keep a lid on pump prices. Oil prices rose Wednesday after government reports said U.S. inventories of crude had fallen, but they sank again early Thursday. U.S. oil was trading at $48.75 a barrel early Thursday, down nearly $4.50 from two weeks ago.