Despite a nominal increase in the national average price of gas since the first week of October, AAA still anticipates a continued downward trend, possibly leading to the cheapest gas prices in nearly three years. As of Monday, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline stood at $3.35, just fractions of a penny higher than the price reported on Oct. 7. While prices remained relatively flat the past two weeks following a record 36-day decline, the latest national average is 14 cents per gallon less than a month ago and 33 cents less than the same day last year.
AAA still expects gas prices to fall further as the end of 2013 approaches. "Due to sufficient supplies, flat demand and the shift to cheaper winter-blend gasoline, and barring a hurricane or other unexpected disruption to production and distribution, the national average is likely to fall to $3.10-20 per gallon by Christmas, which would be the lowest mark since February 2011," AAA said in a statement.
Not all states' gas prices reflect the relative stability of late. Prices in 17 states and Washington, D.C., are significantly greater than a week ago — with Georgia and Ohio seeing 5- and 6-cent spikes, respectively. Still, prices in the other 33 states have fallen, led by Washington and Montana, which enjoyed 5- and 6-cent dips, respectively. Moreover, motorists in every state but South Carolina are paying less to fill their tanks than a month earlier, with prices in some states falling at least 20 cents — and in Kansas, 30 cents.
It's been nine months since the national average price of regular unleaded gas was less than $3.34. Starting last Jan. 25, prices surged 49 cents in 41 days on their way to a high of $3.79 a gallon on Feb. 27.