Drivers in several Midwestern and central states are enjoying major month-over-month price relief at the pump where prices are at least 30 cents less than last month.
AAA expects retail prices will continue lower in the coming months, as sufficient supplies, flat demand and cheaper winter-blend gasoline mean motorists are likely to pay less to fill their tanks.
“Barring a hurricane or other unexpected disruption to gasoline production and/or distribution, the South Dakota average could fall below $3.191 a gallon by Christmas,” said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota.
The national average may also fall, perhaps to the $3.10-20 range, by year-end. According to AAA’s fuel price website, AAAFuelGaugeReport.com, the last time the national average was below $3.20 per gallon was on Feb. 23, 2011.
Today’s average price for regular gasoline is $3.35 per gallon, four cents less than one week ago, 22 cents less than one month ago and 47 cents less than the same day last year.
U.S. and global markets are working to evaluate the impact of the federal government shutdown and renewed U.S. debt ceiling concerns, while retail gas prices continue to march steadily lower, although today’s average is three-tenths of a cent above yesterday’s. Up until today, the national average had dropped for 36 consecutive days.
Despite retail gas prices trending lower and recent political and economic uncertainty, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has remained above $100 per barrel for more than three months. Even with a slight decline in yesterday’s trading, this streak continued as WTI settled 81 cents lower at $103.03 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX Monday.