Holidays Bring Gift of Falling Gas Prices

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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 over the previous week to $3.14 as of Dec. 19. 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 the same 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.

The Dec. 19 national average of $3.14 is 54 cents less than a month ago and 16 cents less than a year ago.

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).

Source: AAA

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