WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gas prices at the pump barely budged over the past week, despite the expected demand surge due to the Independence Day holiday. AAA predicted that more than 43 million people would hit the road to celebrate the nation’s birthday. Despite the record number, the national average for a gallon of gas drifted two cents lower since last week to $3.52.
“Gas prices may rise over the next few days based on slightly higher demand,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But it could be more of a blip than a trend, and demand may retreat once the holiday is further in the rearview mirror.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased slightly from 9.31 to 9.6 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2.5 million bbl to 219.5 million bbl. Rising gas demand amid decreasing supply will likely push pump prices higher.
Today’s national average of $3.52 is two cents less than a month ago and $1.25 less than a year ago.
Quick stats on gas prices
Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest changes in their averages: Colorado (+11 cents), Arizona (−11 cents), Ohio (−10 cents), Indiana (−9 cents), Utah (−8 cents), Illinois (−7 cents), Pennsylvania (−7 cents), Florida (−6 cents), South Carolina (−6 cents) and Texas (−6 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($2.96), Alabama ($3.07), Louisiana ($3.08), Tennessee ($3.08), Arkansas ($3.10), Texas ($3.13), South Carolina ($3.14), Oklahoma ($3.18), North Carolina ($3.21) and Georgia ($3.22).
Oil market dynamics
At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $2 to settle at $71.79. Oil prices have increased this week due to market concerns that supply may be tight through the remainder of 2023. However, price increases have been capped due to ongoing market fears that a recession will occur. If a recession occurs, oil demand and prices will likely decline. Additionally, the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories decreased by 1.5 million bbl to 452.2 million bbl.