Pump Prices Ease as Oil Market Digests Economic News
Written by Andrew Gross, AAA
Published Feb. 7, 2023
The national average for a gallon of gas barely budged over the past week, drifting lower by three cents to $3.47 as of Feb. 6.
The previous week’s decision by OPEC+ to maintain current production levels and not make any cuts led to lower oil prices.
But the blockbuster U.S. report Feb. 3 of 517,000 jobs added in January, dropping the unemployment rate to a 54-year low of 3.4%, may have the opposite effect. Are recession fears fading, and could a healthier global economy lead to more demand for oil and higher prices?
“Keep an eye on the price of oil,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, “because oil currently accounts for nearly 60% of what we pay at the pump. And rising or falling oil prices can have a direct impact on motorists’ wallets.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose from 8.14 million to 8.49 million b/d over the week before Feb. 6. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 2.6 million bbl to 234.6 million bbl. Despite rising gas demand, total supply growth has helped limit pump price increases.
The Feb. 6 national average of $3.47 is 18 cents more than a month ago and four cents more than a year ago.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Delaware (-15 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Maryland (-9 cents), South Carolina (-9 cents), Tennessee (-9 cents), Alabama (-8 cents), Michigan (-8 cents), Indiana (-8 cents), Florida (-8 cents) and Virginia (-7 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Texas ($3.08), Mississippi ($3.12), Oklahoma ($3.13), Missouri ($3.13), Kentucky ($3.14), Arkansas ($3.14), South Carolina ($3.17), Kansas ($3.18), Louisiana ($3.19) and Tennessee ($3.19).