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National Average Sees First Weekly Decline of 2018

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For the first time in 2018, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline has declined week-over-week by 3.5 cents per gallon to $2.57 per gallon while the nation’s average price for diesel slid back under $3 per gallon to $2.98 today.

“The wait is over – 2018’s first weekly drop at gas pumps has arrived with the national average losing ground in the last week. As the Dow Jones average swung violently, oil prices lost considerable ground, falling below $60 per barrel for the first time this year. In addition, a weekly report from the government showed a trifecta of inventory increases: crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories all gained, pushing wholesale gasoline prices down and paving the way for gas prices to cool off,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “These factors have opened the door for perhaps a brief window of relief at the pump that may last for several weeks. I’d expect most places would see gas prices decline in the week ahead as a direct result. But don’t get too giddy – there are still some gray clouds on the horizon.”

Oil prices buckled last week under pressure from the falling stock market and fears of inflation but also after the Energy Information Administration reported a rise in crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories. Oil inventories rose nearly 2 million barrels but stand 88.3 million barrels lower than a year ago while gasoline inventories ramped up by 3.4 million barrels yet remain nearly 11 million barrels lower than a year ago. Refinery utilization posted a surprise jump to 92.5% as all regions across the U.S. saw refiners processing more crude oil than a week ago. By Friday, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil had fallen under $60 per barrel for the first time in 2018, leading gasoline prices to follow.

Looking state-by-state, the largest weekly changes in average gas prices were seen in: Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Nevada (+5 cents), Mississippi (-5 cents), Maryland (-4 cents), North Carolina (-4 cents) and New Mexico (-4 cents).

States with the lowest average gasoline prices: Mississippi ($2.32), South Carolina ($2.33), Alabama ($2.34), Missouri ($2.34), Texas ($2.34), Arkansas ($2.36), Oklahoma ($2.37), Tennessee ($2.37), Ohio ($2.38) and New Mexico ($2.39).

States with the highest average gasoline prices: Hawaii ($3.44), California ($3.33) Alaska ($3.12), Washington ($2.99), Pennsylvania ($2.87), Nevada ($2.86), Oregon ($2.85), New York ($2.76), Connecticut ($2.76) and New Jersey ($2.69).

Gasoline prices are likely to decline in the week ahead as stations pass along last week’s lower wholesale prices, but with seasonal maintenance work and economic anxiety, prices may rebound soon after.

GasBuddy is a smartphone app connecting drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop™. With 70 million downloads, GasBuddy is the leader in crowdsourced information to help drivers find the best gas prices, closest stations, friendliest service, cleanest restrooms, tastiest coffee and much more. GasBuddy is the leading source for the most accurate, real-time fuel prices at more than 140,000 gas stations in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

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