National Gasoline Price Average Gains after Weeks of Consecutive Declines

The national retail price of regular unleaded gasoline gained 0.3-cent to $3.257 a gallon during the recently ended week, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S.

The EIA data ends a series of declines, for almost three straight weeks, in the national average of gasoline prices.

Recently, the price trend of gasoline had been generally down in the midst of low demand.

In the EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the average gasoline price for this month is expected to be around $3.3361 per gallon, the highest level from the month and a rate that is higher compared to last year’s $3.266 a gallon.

The basis of the agency’s projection is that crude oil futures prices on the NYMEX are averaging lower this year, at $89.50 per barrel from last year’s $98.53 per barrel.

The gasoline prices in the East Coast, the Gulf Coast and the Midwest increased, while those in the West Coast and Rocky Mountains decreased.

In AAA’s weekly fuel gauge report, the current gasoline price is the same as last week at $3.25. After falling for 28 consecutive days, the national gasoline price average increased for four straight days, said AAA. The auto club attributes the boost in the price of gasoline to higher per barrel crude prices.

According to AAA, an agreement by policymakers in Washington to stop the “fiscal cliff” would result in stronger fuel prices. However, without a deal, markets are at risk of weakening, and the gasoline price today may even fall further.