The U.S. average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.42 per gallon, AAA reported Monday, as consumers can look forward to another possible run at $2.00 per gallon thanks mainly to excessive global supplies of crude oil.
Consumers are only paying fractions of a penny less than one week ago, and 14 cents more than one month ago. However, motorists continue to save more than $1 dollar per gallon ($1.10) in comparison to this same date last year. The national average has now fallen for 13 of the past 16 days.
The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil reached a six-year low this past week, keeping downward pressure on the national price of gasoline.
This downward pressure has, for now, offset potential price gains from robust demand, regional refinery maintenance and the seasonal transition to more expensive summer-blend gasoline.
Consumers in 38 states are experiencing week-over-week savings at the pump, with the largest price drops seen in California (-10 cents), Minnesota (-8 cents) and Maine (-7 cents). The movements in price were relatively small in the majority of these states (- 3 cents or less), with the average price falling by a nickel or more in only six states.
Here is AAA’s outlook for coming months:
“Global crude prices continued to tumble with reports of growing supply and the strengthening U.S. dollar. The likelihood of a possible nuclear deal between the West and Iran also has the potential to bring more oil to the global market. Additionally, comments by Saudi Arabia’s oil minister yesterday indicated that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would not cut oil production to increase global oil prices, instead electing to let the market self-correct.”
Meanwhile, consumers are mostly paying off debt and buying groceries and other necessities with their savings from cheaper gas, according to a survey by Allstate and The National Journal. The February survey of 1,000 adults found that nearly four-in-five Americans (78 percent) are realizing savings at the pump, and 58 percent of them are using these savings to cover basic necessities (31 percent) or to pay off/avoid debt (27 percent).
Nearly one third of Americans (32 percent) say that the decline in gas prices has had a “huge” or “significant difference” in their personal financial situations, according to Americans polled who benefited from price savings.