AAA: Gas prices trending back downward

gas pricesAcross the Mid-Atlantic region, gas prices are slowly retreating, with many regions dropping two to five cents in the last week.

Today’s national average price of $2.31 per gallon reflects a similar trend. The price of retail gasoline has dipped since last week with today’s average three cents less per gallon than one week ago, five cents more than one month ago and 46 cents more per gallon year-over-year. The slight decrease in retail prices can be attributed to less demand and adequate supply.

“We are seeing a return to the typical winter season pump price drop,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Winter-blend gasoline is less expensive to produce and consumers are seeing some of the savings, albeit a little later in the season.”

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil closed up 85 cents over last week to settle at $53.22 per barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) December monthly outlook was released Wednesday, citing that its output fell by 221,000 barrels per day (bpd) but remains at well above levels predicted by the deal struck in November to cut oil production.

In that same report, OPEC raised its forecast for demand for oil this year but also increased its forecast for U.S. supply. OPEC expects total non-OPEC supply to rise by 120,000 bpd this year, down from a previous forecast of growth of 300,000 bpd.

 

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