National gas average holds steady while dip in prices slows in some mid-Atlantic regions

The Week

Although pump prices have gone up slightly in some areas around the mid-Atlantic region, the national gas average has remained relatively steady. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.13 per gallon today, which is 27 cents below 2016’s peak price to date of $2.40 on June 11. Today’s price is one cent more than one week ago, 10 cents less than one month ago and 46 cents less than the same date last year.

Last week, some 44 percent of gas stations nationwide were selling gasoline for $2 per gallon or less. This comes even as U.S. drivers are on track to shatter the all-time record for total miles driven in a year.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
08/12/16
Week Ago
Year Ago
National

$2.13

$2.12
$2.59
New Jersey
$1.91
$1.91
$2.38
Trenton
$1.98
$2.00
$2.46
Cape May County
$1.93
$1.92
$2.43
Burlington
$1.86
$1.84
$2.30
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$1.92
$1.92
$2.38
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$1.91
$1.89
$2.41
Crude Oil

$44.66 per barrel (08/12/16)

$41.60 per barrel (08/05/16)
$43.30 per barrel (08/12/15)

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed at per barrel, closing above the $40 mark every day this week. One item that may affect future prices is that OPEC may again consider production limits by cartel members in an effort to boost oil prices by curbing supply. If OPEC members agree to limit production, crude oil prices could again rise as demand moves into balance with supply.

The Weekend

“With gasoline supplies high and oil prices low, pump prices are likely to remain relatively cheap through the remainder of the summer and into the fall,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “It is even possible that the national average price of gas may dip below $2.00 per gallon after the summer driving season ends and refineries switch over to less expensive winter-blend gasoline on September 15.”

The Week Ahead

Provided the next month does not bring a major market-moving event, like a major hurricane or escalating geopolitical tensions overseas, pump prices are likely to remain at relatively low levels.  According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. regular gasoline retail prices this summer (April through September) are forecast to average $2.19/gallon (gal), 6 cents/gallon lower than forecast and 44 cents/gallon lower than last summer. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are forecast to average $2.06/gal in 2016 and $2.26/gal in 2017.