(WASHINGTON, August 25, 2014) One week before the Labor Day holiday, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline continues to march lower reaching today’s price of $3.43 per gallon, which is the lowest average since February 26. Motorists are paying two cents less per gallon than one week ago, 10 cents less than one month ago, and 11 cents less than on this same date last year.
Today’s price represents the second lowest on record for this calendar day since 2010 when the national average was $2.70.
Drivers in the Pacific States are paying some of the nation’s highest retail prices at the pump. Consumers in Hawaii ($4.30), Alaska ($4.07) and Oregon ($3.89) continue to pay the most per gallon, followed by motorists in Washington ($3.88) and California ($3.87); however prices in each of these states has declined over the past week and month. On the other end of the spectrum motorists in South Carolina ($3.14) continue to pay the nation’s lowest price per gallon, reflecting a difference of more than one dollar ($1.16) in comparison to the highest state average.
The retail price for gasoline is down in 44 states and Washington D.C., with the largest savings seen in: Illinois (-6 cents), Pennsylvania (-5 cents), Washington D.C. (-4 cents) and New Jersey (-4 cents). Among the six states where the price has increased over this same period, the increases have been minimal: Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana (+3 cents); Michigan and Kansas (+1 cent); and Hawaii (less than a cent).
Month-over month and year-over-year price assessments also reflect lower prices for motorists in the vast majority of states. Consumers in 45 states and Washington D.C. are seeing month-over-month savings, and the average price per gallon has dropped by a dime or more in 26 states and Washington D.C. The most dramatic monthly savings are on the East Coast, led by Pennsylvania and New Jersey (-20 cents); and Maryland and Connecticut (-17 cents).
Compared to this time last year, drivers in 43 states and Washington D.C. are paying less at the pump. Consumers in 34 states and Washington D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon, led by Delaware and New Jersey (-20 cents). Motorists in the western United States are among the handful of states paying more per gallon than on the same date last year. The regional increase is attributed to operational issues at refineries on the West Coast, which has impacted supply and ultimately led to consumers in Nevada (+16 cents), Oregon (+16 cents), Colorado (+13 cents) and Washington (+11 cents) paying premiums of a dime or more per gallon.
Geopolitics continues to dominate headlines, including in Iraq where the jihadist group known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) took responsibility for the death of an American journalist. The Obama Administration is exploring expanding its military action in the region, and the potential for disruptions in supply remains front of mind for market watchers. In recent years motorists have seen geopolitical headlines trigger higher global crude oil prices and ultimately higher prices at the pump; however this has not been the case this summer. In recent weeks, oil markets have largely shrugged off reports of violence and tensions overseas and have instead moved steadily lower as analysts have assessed the potential for a disruption in oil supplies to be limited. The easing of global crude prices has been a driving factor behind the falling retail gasoline prices across much of the country.
This slide in oil prices continued today as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled down 30 cents at $93.35 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. Today’s price marks a decline of more than $10 per barrel since the start of July and is the lowest settlement since January14.