Media Contact: Matt Skryja
Walnut Creek, CA, August 9, 2011
Over the past few days, gas prices have been dropping in many parts of California. However, according to the latest report from AAA Northern California, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers, many of the monthly gas pump price comparisons show slight increases. According to AAA, all but eight Northern California metro areas tracked by the organization saw an increase at the pump over the past month.
The Golden State’s average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.78, which is unchanged since last month’s AAA report on July 12. For perspective, that’s 61 cents higher than California’s average price on this date last year. Among all 50 states, California is tied with Maine for the eighth highest state average price for regular, unleaded gasoline. Hawaii is first and Connecticut is second. Both are the only states with averages over four dollars.
Northern California gas prices are now averaging $3.79, up two cents from last month. In the San Francisco Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $3.88, which is a 2-cent increase. The national average price of $3.65 is up by one cent, which is 88 cents more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $2.77.
“Investor activity is a major factor that drives oil prices. Their recent uncertainty about the strength of the oil market is helping to push oil prices down and gas prices are following,” explained AAA Northern California spokesperson Matt Skryja. “Consumer relief at the pump often lags behind any declines in crude prices, as cheaper oil works its way through the refining and distribution process.”
Relatively weak demand for gasoline across the nation is also helping to push pump prices lower. Demand is one of many factors that influence investors’ buying behavior. As demand drops, oil and gas become less attractive investments, so buying slows and the per barrel oil price and the gasoline pump price drop. Currently, weak U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data are also tempering investors’ enthusiasm for buying. Although more positive than expected jobs figures helped to balance out this perception late last week, an unprecedented downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor’s on Friday sent global markets tumbling at the open of trading yesterday.
The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Marysville where regular is $3.64. Of all the metro areas in Northern California where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Yreka’s average price of $4.00 is the highest. Bridgeport, Connecticut, has the highest price in the lower 48 states at $4.11. The least expensive gasoline in the country is found in Peoria, Arizona, where the average price of gas is $3.26. Wailuku, Hawaii, holds the dubious crown for the highest average price in the nation, at $4.39 per gallon.
One way consumers can reduce the amount of money they spend on fuel is to shop aggressively for the lowest price. AAA now offers text alerts via mobile phone for low gas prices in your area. Sign up today at www.aaa.com/gas.
AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 100,000 self-serve stations surveyed everyday, nationwide. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.
AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to nearly 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.
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