The national average price of gasoline fell three cents to $3.239 a gallon for the week ending Dec. 16, remaining just above a three-year low due to favorable energy economics.
The price decline came for the third consecutive week with the backdrop of recent growth in domestic crude oil production and a sharp decline in car and light truck fuel use as reported in the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference released Monday.
The average price of gasoline is now 1.5 cents lower than it was a year ago, the EIA reported seperately. Meanwhile, the average price of diesel fuel fell eight-tenths of a cent from a week ago and 7.4 cents from a year ago.
The AEO2014 includes a detailed demographic profile of driving behavior by age and gender as well as lower population growth rates based on updated Census Bureau projections.
As a result, annual increases in vehicle miles traveled in light-duty vehicles should grow an average of 0.9% from 2012 to 2040, compared to 1.2% per year projected over the same period in AEO2013. The rising vehicle fuel economy of light-duty vehicles more than offsets the modest growth in miles traveled, which should result in a 25% decline in energy consumption between 2012 and 2040.