Fuel Prices Hold Steady as Demand Drops

Prices could dip further as the start of summer approaches.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite the surge in travel over the long Memorial Day weekend, the national average for a gallon of gas remained steady at $3.57, the same as the previous week, according to a new analysis from AAA. 

[Read more: Convenience Retailers Gear Up for Memorial Day Weekend Travelers]

Even though AAA forecasted that more than 37 million Americans drove to their holiday destinations, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found gas demand decreased from 9.43 million to 9.1 million barrels per day (b/d) last week, which helped to cap increases in pump prices. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks dropped slightly to 216.1 million barrels of crude oil (bbl).

"Although millions hit the road last week, gasoline demand fell," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. "Meanwhile, the cost for a barrel of oil dropped below $70 per barrel. Pump prices could dip further as the start of summer approaches."

Today's national average of $3.57 is 4 cents less than a month ago but $1.10 less than a year ago.

Since May 25, these 10 states have seen the largest decreases in gas price averages: Arizona (-10 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Ohio (-8 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents), Iowa (-7 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Michigan (-5 cents), Delaware (-3 cents), New Mexico (-2 cents) and Louisiana (-2 cents).

Currently, the nation's top 10 least expensive markets include Mississippi ($2.98), Texas ($3.12), Louisiana ($3.12), Arkansas ($3.12), Alabama ($3.14), South Carolina ($3.20), Tennessee ($3.20), Missouri ($3.20), Oklahoma ($3.23) and Kansas ($3.26).

[Read more: AAA Rolls Out Pilot Program to Meet Needs of Electric Vehicle Motorists]

At the close of the formal trading session on May 31, West Texas Intermediate decreased by $1.37 to settle at $68.09. Additionally, the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories increased significantly by 4.5 million bbl to 459.7 million bbl last week.