Gas Prices Lower to Start December

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Demand for gasoline is falling and that’s helping to put downward pressure on pump prices. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded declines two cents to $2.48 a gallon while the Oregon average slips one-and-a-half cents to $2.83. Averages are at their cheapest prices since early November.

“Demand for gasoline has dropped to its lowest mark since February and that’s leading to seasonally cheaper pump prices. Most states have seen prices fall in the last week with some averages seeing double-digit declines,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

The latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) shows shrinking demand for gasoline with a drop of 871,000 b/d on the week for a total demand number of 8.7 million b/d for the week ending Nov. 24. EIA’s next report, due out tomorrow, will indicate if the drop is a trend.

Oregon is one of 47 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are lower week-over-week. The largest decreases are in Ohio (-11 cents) and Illinois (-7 cents). Hawaii (+4 cents), Utah (+ 2 cents) and Kentucky (+1 cent) are the only three states to see prices increase on the week.

Oregon is one of 22 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices have increased in the last month. The national average is five cents less and the Oregon average is nine cents more than a month ago. The largest monthly increases are in Alaska (+14 cents) and Hawaii (+11 cents). The largest monthly decreases are in Ohio (-35 cents) and Indiana (-32 cents).

The West Coast still has the most expensive gas prices in the nation with six of the top ten markets in this region. After two weeks, Hawaii bumps Alaska as the state with the most expensive gasoline in the country, followed by Alaska and California. These three states all have averages at or above $3 a gallon. Washington is fourth. Oregon is fifth most expensive for the 23rd week in a row.

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