Oil loses, drivers win - again

The Week

Oil prices continue a 14 month dip, continuing to lower the prices at the pump. Today’s national average price is $1.93, down seven cents from last week, down eight cents from last month, and down 16 cents from last year.

According to a recent survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), retail gasoline prices below $2 per gallon have not fostered any new enthusiasm among American consumers. Gasoline price impact on consumer psyche remains high, with 75 percent of Americans admitting that gas prices influence their feelings about the economy, but that number is down 10 points from Jan. 14, 2015 when gas prices were about $1.50/gal higher.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
01/15/16
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$1.93 $1.99
$2.09
New Jersey
$1.78
$1.83
$2.05
Trenton
$1.81
$1.86
$2.15
Cape May County
$1.77
$1.82
$2.09
Burlington
$1.72
$1.78
$2.01
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$1.79
$1.84
$2.03
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$1.79
$1.84
$2.04
Crude Oil

$29.42 per barrel

$33.16 per barrel
$56.01 per barrel

WTI crude closed out Friday’s formal trading session at $29.42 per barrel. Expectations that prices will continue to hover at levels last seen more than a decade ago are beginning to surface and market watchers are paying close attention to both China and the Middle East.  Crude oil continues to inch lower than $30 a barrel.  The last time crude oil closed below $20 per barrel was October 31, 2003

The Weekend.

“AAA predicts pump prices will remain relatively low due to the over-abundance of oil,” said Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “As crude oil prices continue to drop, motorists will undoubtedly continue to enjoy savings at the gas pumps.”

The Week Ahead

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects monthly retail prices of U.S. regular gasoline to reach a seven-year low of $1.90/gal in February 2016, before rising during the spring.