Rising Prices Slow as U.S. Gas Demand Drops
Hayward, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) January 14, 2011
Demand for gasoline is dropping like the New Year’s celebratory ball in Times Square, causing a recent rise in pump prices to slow to a snail’s pace. Despite that, the Golden State’s average gas price has jumped by nine cents over the last month, according to the latest report from AAA Northern California, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers.
According to AAA’s latest report, all but one Northern California metro areas tracked by AAA saw a single digit increase at the pump over the past month. California’s average gas price is the third highest among all 50 states. The Golden State’s average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $ 3.35, up nine cents since last month’s report on December 14. For perspective, that’s 29 cents higher than California’s average price on this date last year, when it was $ 3.06.
Northern California gas prices are now averaging $ 3.35, up seven cents from last month. In the San Francisco Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $ 3.41, which is a 6-cent increase. The national average price of $ 3.09 is up by 11 cents, which is 34 cents more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $ 2.75.
A SpendingPulse report on gasoline demand last Tuesday showed demand down 12.5 percent for the final week of 2010. In the last week of 2010, demand for gasoline nationwide dropped to 8.409 million barrels per day. That is the lowest consumption level since September 9, 2005, which was just days after Hurricane Katrina. However, globally, the demand for oil is currently rising, particularly in China and India.
This fact, and positive economic indicators in the United States, continues to push the pump price higher. That’s because the better the worldwide and domestic economies look, the more attractive crude oil becomes as an investment, as investors try to anticipate an increased demand for oil and gasoline.
“The spike in the average cost of regular unleaded gasoline during the end of 2010 and early 2011 may have played a role in the significant decline in demand,” explained AAA Northern California spokesperson Matt Skryja. “Additionally, the drop in demand nationwide is being attributed to a combination of commuters taking the holidays off and weather-related issues hampering road travel along some parts of the East Coast.”
The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Marysville where regular is $ 3.25. Of all the metro areas in Northern California where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Eureka’s average price of $ 3.53 is the highest. It’s also the highest price reported by AAA in the lower 48 states.
The least expensive gasoline in the country is found in Casper, Wyoming, where the average price of gas is $ 2.68. Wailuku, Hawaii, holds the dubious crown for the highest average price in the nation, at $ 4.00 per gallon.
One way consumers can reduce the amount of money they spend on fuel is to shop aggressively for the lowest price. AAA now offers text alerts via mobile phone for low gas prices in your area. Sign up today at http://www.aaa.com/gas.
AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 100,000 self-serve stations surveyed everyday, nationwide. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.
AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to nearly 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.
AAA is one of the top five insurance providers in the state of California with nearly 1 million car insurance (auto insurance) policyholders and insuring approximately 1.7 million cars in California. AAA’s insurance company, the California State Automobile Association Inter Insurance Bureau, began offering auto insurance in 1914. One out of every five cars on Northern California roads is insured by AAA.
Homeowners insurance was added in 1974 and has become California’s fourth-largest insurer of residential property. In addition to auto insurance and home insurance, AAA offers motorcycle insurance, watercraft insurance, motorhome insurance, renters insurance, rental property insurance, flood insurance, umbrella insurance, travel insurance and life insurance to customers in approximately 20 states, including Nevada and Utah.
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