Demand for gasoline has reached the highest level on record, as this week saw a slowing of declining pump prices that's outpacing supply.
The national average price fell 3 cents to $2.61 for the week ending Aug. 19, which was also 17 cents lower than a month ago and 22 cents cheaper than a year ago, according to AAA. Nearly half of the fuel stations AAA surveyed are selling gas for $2.50 or less.
At the same time, demand has never been higher. It reached 9.93 million barrels per day, which is the highest level on record for the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency has been keeping this data since 1991. Gasoline stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels.
"Pump prices continue to trend cheaper for most motorists across the country, though the rate at which they are declining slowed in the last week with a handful of states only seeing a nickel decline at the most," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. "Demand recorded at a surprising all-time high, but it is expected to drop in the coming weeks as summer comes to an unofficial end."
States with the largest weekly decreases include North Carolina (5 cents), Maryland (5 cents), Georgia (5 cents), Texas (5 cents), Missouri (5 cents), South Carolina (5 cents), Tennessee (5 cents), New Jersey (5 cents), and Virginia (5 cents).
The least expensive gasoline can be purchased in Louisiana ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.26), Alabama ($2.27), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.30), Tennessee ($2.32), Texas ($2.33), Missouri ($2.34), and Kansas ($2.36).
Meanwhile, the average price of a gallon of diesel fell 1.7 cents to $2.994, which is 21.3 cents lower than a year ago, accordin to the EIA.