Volatility Is the Trend for July Pump Prices

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Volatility Is the Trend for July Pump Prices

filling a gas tank

NATIONAL REPORT — As the rate for crude oil rises and drops amid lingering geopolitical concerns, volatility is the trend at the pumps this month.

Pump prices saw a 4-cent increase from $2.85 to $2.89 during the first half of July, and the second half is proving cheaper with the national gas price average falling to $2.84. The national average has not been this low since early May, according to AAA.

"July gas prices have been on a roller coaster ride, but appear to be on a downward slope at the moment. If demand and supply stay consistent, prices have the potential to stabilize barring any major events — geopolitical or natural disasters," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. "The market is also following this up and down trend lately. Last week, crude prices dropped below $70/bbl for the first time since June, but then returned above the price point to close out the week."

Top 10 Least Expensive Markets

  • Alabama ($2.54)
  • South Carolina ($2.54)
  • Mississippi ($2.54)
  • Arkansas ($2.58)
  • Louisiana ($2.58)
  • Oklahoma ($2.60)
  • Virginia ($2.61)
  • Tennessee ($2.61)
  • Texas ($2.61)
  • Missouri ($2.61)

On the week, Hawaii was the only state to see gas prices increase (1 cent) and Montana ($2.93) was the only state whose gas price average held steady, while all other states saw prices drop as much as 13 cents.

Today's national gas price average is 4 cents cheaper than last week, 2 cents cheaper than last month, but 57 cents more expensive than a year ago. Motorists can find gas for $2.76 or more at 52 percent of stations across the country.

Motorists on the West Coast are paying the most costly pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.78), California ($3.63), Washington ($3.41), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon (3.29), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.94). Still, gas price averages in the majority of states in the region have declined on the week, with Arizona leading the way (3 cents). Only Hawaii (up 1 cent) saw an increase (1 cent).

Top 10 Largest Monthly Changes

  • New Mexico (down 13 cents)
  • Arizona (down 12 cents)
  • Nevada (down 8 cents)
  • Delaware (up 8 cents)
  • Utah (down 8 cents)
  • Nebraska (down 7 cents)
  • Ohio (up 7 cents)
  • Texas (down 6 cents)
  • Idaho (down 6 cents)
  • California (down 5 cents)

Gas prices are dropping on the week across the Great Lakes and Central states. Seven states in the region land on the top 10 largest weekly change in gas prices list: Ohio (13 cents), Michigan (11 cents), Indiana (11 cents), Kentucky (8 cents), Illinois (7 cents) Missouri (5 cents) and Nebraska (4 cents). However, despite cheaper gas prices on the week, state gas price averages are nearly 50-cents or more expensive than a year ago. North Dakota ($2.85) and South Dakota ($2.87) have the largest year-over-year increase at 61 and 60-cents, respectively. Nebraska has the smallest year-over -year increase at 47 cents.

Across the South and Southeast states, gas prices range from as expensive as $2.77 in Florida to as cheap as $2.55 in Alabama. On the week, prices in the region are as much as 4 cents cheaper.

This week’s top four states with the cheapest gas averages in the country can be found in the South and Southeast region. Coincidentally, they are the same four states with the cheapest prices from one year ago with drivers paying at least 50 cents more a gallon to fill-up, compared to a national average difference of nearly 60 cents:

  1. Alabama: $2.58 (up 58 cents)
  2. South Carolina: $2.54 (up 55 cents)
  3. Arkansas: $2.59 (up 54 cents)
  4. Mississippi: $2.54 (up 52 cents)

Gas prices are as much as 5 cents cheaper on the week across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Looking at prices compared to a month ago, most states in the region are seeing cheaper pump prices at as much as four cents less. On the other hand, six states are paying more, with Delaware seeing the largest month-over-month increase in the country: Delaware (8 cents), West Virginia (3 cents), Washington, D.C. (3 cents), Pennsylvania (1 cent), Maryland (1 cent) and New Jersey (1 cent).

On average, gas prices are 62 cents more expensive than a year ago for drivers in the Rockies region. Wyoming (up 69 cents) has the largest year-over-year difference in pump prices. On the week, there is a little relief at the pump with state gas price averages dropping in Colorado (2 cents), Utah (2 cents), Idaho (2 cents), Wyoming (1 cent) and Montana (1 cent).

National Gas Price Averages 2015-2018
The national average has not been this low since early May, according to AAA.
Least Expensive Gas Prices
Monthly Gas Price Changes

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