AAA Fuel Gauge Report: 2013 Starts With Relative Price Stability
WASHINGTON, D.C. -– The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose just a penny in the last week to $3.31, according to the latest AAA Fuel Gauge Report. This is six cents higher than the average price more than a month ago, but seven cents less than the average price for a gallon one year ago.
Overall, the first 22 days of 2013 have been relatively stable, with the national average having yet to record a daily price change of a penny or more per gallon. In 2012, the largest change in one day came on Aug. 29, when the national average rose nearly five cents per gallon the day after Hurricane Isaac reached the Gulf Coast.
Despite the stability of the national average, price volatility has occurred in some areas, with fuel prices falling in 30 states and Washington, D.C. over the last week, yet increasing in 20 states, mainly in the central and southwest regions of the country, according to AAA. Nebraska, Michigan and Minnesota saw the highest increases at more than 10 cents in the last week.
The report also noted that while the annual average price of gasoline in 2012 hit an all-time high of $3.60 per gallon, beating 2011's record of $3.60, it was not the most expensive year overall for drivers, thanks to the lower demand and increased fuel economy that helped offset higher fuel prices.
In 2012, the average U.S. household consumed 1,140 gallons of gasoline at an average cost of $4,112, below 2011's record $4,127 spent on 1,174 gallons. AAA reported that it still expects the national average price of gasoline in 2013 to be lower than the 2012 average, and that analysts predict lessened demand to persist even as the economy recovers.