National Average Gas Price Falls Below $4

Drivers are playing a wait-and-see game before returning to previous habits.
A gas pump

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Prices at the pump keep dipping lower and the continued decline may have some waiting to see how low they can go.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas fell 10 cents in the past week to $3.95, due primarily to stable oil prices and fewer drivers than usual fueling up, according to AAA.

"Falling pump prices may eventually lead to more drivers hitting the road again," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. "But that hasn't happened yet. Instead, many drivers are waiting for prices to fall further before reverting to their typical driving habits."

AAA finds that drivers are making significant changes to cope with high pump prices. In a recent survey, almost two-thirds of U.S. adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March. Drivers' top two changes to offset high gas prices are driving less and combining errands.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose from 8.54 million barrels per day to 9.12 million barrels per day last week. However, the rate is 307,000 barrels per day lower than last year.

Also, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 5 million barrels to 220.3 million barrels. Although gasoline demand has risen and supplies have tightened, easing oil prices have helped lower pump prices. If oil prices edge lower, drivers will likely see falling pump prices, AAA said.

AAA National gas prices as of Aug. 15, 2022

Prices Around the Nation

According to AAA, national average as of Aug. 15 was $3.95, 62 cents less than a month ago, but 77 cents more than a year ago.

The nation's top 10 largest weekly decreases were Maine (19 cents), Colorado (18 cents), West Virginia (16 cents), Arizona (15 cents), Illinois (15 cents), New Mexico (14 cents), Florida (13 cents), Nebraska (13 cents), Arkansas (13 cents) and Kansas (13 cents).

The nation's top 10 least expensive markets were Texas ($3.45), Arkansas ($3.47), Tennessee ($3.50), Oklahoma ($3.50), South Carolina ($3.50), Georgia ($3.51), Mississippi ($3.52), Kansas ($3.53), Missouri ($3.53) and Alabama ($3.54).

At the close of the formal trading session on Aug. 12, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) decreased by $2.25 to settle at $92.09. WTI oil is another benchmark used by oil markets, representing oil produced in the United States.

Although crude prices declined at the end of the week due to concerns that an economic slowdown could cause crude demand to stagnate or decline, prices rose earlier in the week after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a smaller than expected increase in inflation last month at 8.5 percent. The rise in market optimism helped to boost prices despite EIA reporting that total domestic crude supply increased by 5.4 million barrels. For this week, oil prices could continue to decline if demand concerns persist, AAA noted.