Gasoline demand surged last week, buoyed by increased pre-holiday consumer confidence. But fears of the COVID-19 omicron variant’s economic impact may threaten future global oil consumption.
As a result, pump prices fell again last week as crude oil prices wobbled—neither rising steadily nor falling rapidly, according to a AAA report released on Monday. The national average for a gallon of gas dipped three cents to $3.30.
“A recovering economy coupled with strong employment is leading to increased demand for gasoline,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross, in the press release. “This demand increase should drive pump prices higher, but it’s been blunted by the wavering price of crude oil.”
According to recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 700,000 bbl to 218.6 million barrels of crude oil (bbl) last week. Meanwhile, gasoline demand increased from 8.96 million barrels per day (b/d) to 9.47 million b/d. Typically, growing demand and tight supply would support rising pump prices; however, fluctuations in the price of crude oil have helped to put downward pressure on prices. Last week, crude prices crept above $70 per barrel and if oil prices continue to climb, pump prices will likely follow suit.
Monday’s national average of $3.30 is 11 cents less than a month ago and $1.09 more than a year ago.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Indiana (−6 cents), Michigan (−6 cents), Ohio (−5 cents), Arizona (−5 cents), Illinois (−5 cents), Florida (−4 cents), Colorado (−4 cents), Alabama (−3 cents), Kentucky (−3 cents) and Wisconsin (−3 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($4.66), Hawaii ($4.33), Washington ($3.86), Nevada ($3.86), Oregon ($3.77), Arizona ($3.69), Alaska ($3.69), Idaho ($3.60), Utah ($3.55) and Pennsylvania ($3.55).
Florida ranks 27th in the nation with an average price of $3.22 per gallon.