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Holidays bring gift of falling gas prices

There are now about 20 states with averages below $3 per gallon — see the states with the top 10 largest weekly decreases and least expensive markets

Washington, D.C.—Holiday shoppers may have a little more jingle in their pockets this year thanks to plummeting gas prices. The national average pump price slid 12 cents since last week to $3.14. There are now about 20 states with averages below $3 per gallon.

“The cost of oil, gasoline’s main ingredient, has been hovering in the low-to-mid $70s per barrel, and that’s $50 less than the peak last spring,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “Combined with low seasonal demand, gas prices could slide a bit more before leveling off.”

According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased slightly from 8.36 to 8.26 million b/d last week. This coincides with the arrival of the winter driving season, when fewer people hit the roads due to shorter days and more lousy weather. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks rose significantly by 4.5 million bbl to 223.6 million bbl. Increasing supply and lower gasoline demand are pushing pump prices lower.

Today’s national average of $3.14 is 54 cents less than a month ago and 16 cents less than a year ago.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Nevada (−20 cents), Indiana (−19 cents), Michigan (−17 cents), Arizona (−17 cents), Ohio (−16 cents), Washington (−16 cents), Delaware (−16 cents), Illinois (−15 cents), California (−15 cents) and Oregon (−15 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Texas ($2.62), Oklahoma ($2.64), Arkansas ($2.69), Missouri ($2.71), Mississippi ($2.74), Tennessee ($2.75), Wisconsin ($2.75), Louisiana ($2.76), Georgia ($2.77) and Kansas ($2.78).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.82 to settle at $74.29. Crude prices decreased at the end of last week due to a weaker dollar and ongoing market concerns that a recession next year could push oil demand and prices lower. This week, lingering market fears about stalled or reversing economic growth could continue to push prices down. Additionally, the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude stocks expanded substantially by 10.2 million bbl to 424.1 million bbl.

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