EIA: U.S. gasoline price falls 8.1 cents to lowest since Jan. 28
BY DAN STRUMPF
NEW YORK--The national average retail price of regular gasoline fell 8.1 cents in the week ended Monday to $3.496/gal, its lowest level since Jan. 28, the Energy Information Administration said Monday.
The 2.3% drop was the biggest percentage decline since Dec. 17.
Prices fell across all regions. The biggest slide was in the Midwest, where prices dropped 15.2 cents. The drop comes on the heels of a 19.2-cent tumble a week ago, as rising inventories weigh on prices.
Nationwide, gasoline prices are 14 cents above a year earlier, equal to last week' s year-on-year increase. At this time last year, gasoline prices were near six-month lows on weaker crude oil prices.
Current gasoline prices are 15% below the record national average of $4.114 a gallon hit July 7, 2008, the EIA data show.
In its June Short-term Energy Outlook, the EIA said it expected gasoline pump prices to average $3.51 a gallon in July, up from the average of $3.44 a gallon last July.
The forecast is based on Nymex crude-oil futures averaging $92.50 a barrel, up from $87.90 a year earlier. Nymex crude futures settled Monday at $97.99 a barrel to open the month.
Internationally traded Brent crude oil, which holds sway over gasoline prices, settled at $103 a barrel to start the month, compared with EIA' s forecast of $101.50 a barrel. Last July, Brent prices averaged $102.62 a barrel.
The EIA projects nationwide pump prices for the peak spring-summer driving season will average $3.53 a gallon, down 16 cents from a year earlier, while demand slips 0.8% on the year, to a 12-year low for the season. The drop in consumption is due in part to increased fuel efficiency.
The EIA said crude-oil costs account for 67% of the price of gasoline.
AAA said Monday its daily average price was $3.487 a gallon, down from $3.567 a week earlier. The price was down from $3.605 a month earlier, but above the year-earlier level of $3.330 a gallon.
Dow Jones Newswires