At the close of the formal trading session on Aug. 5, West Texas Intermediate increased by 47 cents to settle at $89.01. Although crude prices made slight gains on due to a strong U.S. jobs report for July, they saw significant declines throughout the week as a result of continuing market concern that demand will decline if economic growth stalls or reverses course, AAA reported.
Prices have not been this low since mid-February, before Russia invaded Ukraine. Additionally, EIA reported that total domestic crude supply increased by 4.5 million barrels to 426.6 million barrels. The sharp inventory increase, during the usually high-demand summer driving season, signals low demand could continue pushing prices lower.
For this week, crude prices could continue to decline if demand concerns persist.
Consumers' Changing Driving Habits
New survey data from AAA finds that drivers are making significant changes to cope with record pump prices. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March, with 23 percent making "major changes."
Drivers' top three changes to offset high gas prices are driving less, combining errands, and reducing shopping or dining out.
In March, AAA conducted a survey examining the pump prices Americans would view as too expensive. At that time, more than half (59 percent) of respondents said they would change their driving habits or lifestyle if the cost of gas rose to $4 per gallon. If gas were to reach $5, which it did in June, three-quarters said they would need to adjust their lifestyle to offset the spike at the pump.
At that time, among Americans who said they would make changes in response to higher gas prices, a majority (80 percent) said they would opt to drive less.