With the Fourth of July holiday in the rear-view mirror, motorists across the United States continue to pay, on average, less than $3 per gallon on summer road trips, according to AAA.
AAA said motorists paid the lowest price at the pump for Independence Day travel since 2010, saving 90 cents per gallon compared to the 2014 holiday. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.77 per gallon, down fractions of a penny versus one week ago.
The national average price has remained relatively steady over the past 30 days, despite regional fluctuations in price due to refinery issues, and today’s average represents an increase of one cent per gallon versus one month ago.
However, world events may trigger a change in prices that will put a smile on the faces of U.S. motorists.
The price of crude oil dropped 8% in the wake of the a “No” vote in Greece. The vote prolonged the Greece’s financial crisis and raised fears of both a slowdown of the anemic European economy and further contagion throughout the interlocked global financial system in the wake of a default by the government of Greece.
The continuing crisis in Greece is putting substantial pressure on the value of the Euro and subsequently adds further strength to the U.S. dollar. A stronger U.S. dollar makes crude oil (priced in U.S. dollars) relatively more expensive for those holding other currencies, which lowers demand and pressures prices lower.
July also marks the one-year anniversary of the drop in the price of crude oil worldwide. Starting at this time last year, average gas prices fell on all but one day during the month, for a total drop of 16 cents per gallon. Despite the decline in recent weeks, the direction of pump prices in the near term could be less than certain. Consumer demand for gasoline typically climbs during July and August, and the ability of supply to keep pace with growing demand can directly impact the price at the pump.
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Pump prices west of the Rockies continue to lead the nation with the only state averages higher than $3 per gallon. For the second week in a row motorists in Alaska at $3.48 per gallon are paying the nation’s highest price for retail gasoline. California, at $3.44 per gallon, and Hawaii,at $3.37 per gallon, were next. South Carolina, at $2.43 per gallon, and Mississippi, at $2.47, are posting the nation’s lowest averages.
Weekly price comparisons reflect drivers in 36 states and Washington, D.C. experiencing savings at the pump. Of the 14 states where the price has moved higher over this same period, 12 states are posting premiums of two cents per gallon or less. On the whole, the average price for retail gasoline has remained relatively stable, week-over-week, moving up or down 3 cents per gallon in the majority of states.
(Click Here for details about how world events are cutting oil prices.)
Despite the national average remaining relatively stable over the past 30 days, the lingering effects of regional refinery issues continue to be reflected in monthly price comparisons at the state level.
The price has climbed higher in 37 states and Washington D.C. month-over-month, with the largest price movements in regions previously facing issues at major refineries. A total of seven states are posting double-digit increases over this period, led by Michigan where prices climbed by 22%, Idaho and Washington were next with 13-cent increases.
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On the other end of the spectrum, prices are down in 13 states versus one month ago. Prices in California dropped by 18 cents per gallon and 7 cents per gallon in Nevada due to the earlier resolution of refinery issues in California.