The latest Fuel Gauge Report from AAA shows that the average national price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.68, which is down 1 cent from a week ago (March 12). This price is 15 cents less than it was at this same time (March 18) a year ago but about the same as the price on Feb. 19. The peak average price to date during 2013 was $3.79 on Feb. 27.
Prices in a total of 38 states and Washington D.C. are down from a week ago, and in 28 states, drivers are paying less than they did a month ago, according to AAA’s report.
On a regional basis, the states that saw the largest price decreases since the previous month include Minnesota, with a 13-cent drop; Michigan, with a 12-cent drop; Ohio, which saw a 10-cent decline; Delaware, with a 9-cent drop in the average gas price; Indiana, New Jersey, and Iowa, with each seeing a 7-cent drop; Oklahoma and Kansas, each with a 6-cent drop; and Pennsylvania, which saw a 4-cent decline.
A number of states saw price increases between Feb. 18 and March 18, according to AAA, including Montana, up 21 cents; Washington, up 19 cents; Arizona, up 18 cents; Oregon, up 17 cents; Alaska and New Mexico, where the average gas price increased 16 cents in each state; Wyoming and Nevada, where prices rose 15 cents; D.C., which saw the average gas price go up 12 cents; and Hawaii, where the price went up 11 cents.
Despite overall mixed price increases and decreases since last month, drivers in every state save for North Dakota paid less on March 18, 2013, than they did on that same day in 2012, AAA stated. In nine states, prices are down 20 cents over last year, and in Illinois, the average gas price is down 30 cents from last year.
With regard to oil prices, West Texas Intermediate is up slightly due to positive economic news in the U.S., despite economic instability in Europe due to the recently announced bailout package for Cyprus. According to AAA, because crude oil futures are priced in U.S. dollars, when overseas economies weaken, the dollar gets stronger and the price of oil goes up. This makes oil futures attractive as an investment, which generally puts downward pressure on oil prices, according to AAA.