Last week was the second consecutive week consumers paid less for a gallon of gas. Both national and state averages for gasoline decreased, giving consumers a break at the pump. While gas prices retreated, the price of a barrel of oil remains relatively stable. A barrel of oil closed Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) at $103.88—$1.05 cents more than the week prior.
Although a barrel of oil increased slightly from the prior week, there are more bearish factors than not, pointing to lower pump prices. More Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits and sales of U.S. homes decreased, both causing concern economic growth in the U.S. is starting to slow. Europe’s debt crisis also weighs on the market and dampens fuel demand.
"Gas prices are finally moving in a positive direction for motorists," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "While it’s very likely retail gas prices will retreat further this week, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the peak price for 2012. It’s still very early in the year and we could see gas prices inch back up in May or June depending on how the May 23 meeting between Iran and members of the United Nations turns out and whether or not we have a busy hurricane season.”
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.86, a 4-cent decrease from last week. Florida’s average of $3.88 fell 6 cents from last week and Georgia’s average of $3.76 decreased 7 cents. Tennessee’s average price of $3.72 dropped 5 cents from last week, respectively. Here in the 'Boro, some discounters are offering regular gas for $3.69 per gallon.