Consumers continued to find relief at the gas pump during the week as the price of gasoline, which had been on the rise for most of the year, fell nearly six cents a gallon over the last seven days.
The national average price of self-serve regular today is $3.826 per gallon, down from $3.881 last Friday, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Survey. Fuel prices are now less than nine cents a gallon higher than they were a month ago.
The average price of diesel fuel today is $4.100 per gallon, down from $4.130 a week ago.
The fuel price decline continued as oil prices - both Brent and WTI crude - traded lower during the week on mounting evidence that the pace of recovery has slowed.
"Much of the story for 2012 has been increasing gas prices at the pump; even as demand for gasoline has decreased versus the same period in 2011 and WTI crude prices have remained relatively flat, albeit at levels above $100 per barrel since February 13," said Avery Ash, AAA's manager of federal relations. "During the months of February and March, the national average price at the pump increased for all but four days - rising 48 cents from $3.45 on February 1 to $3.93 on March 31. Since the beginning of April, this trend has reversed and prices have decreased for all but seven days on the month."
If the trend continues, it seems unlikely that earlier dire forecasts of $5 a gallon gasoline will be borne out, at least in the short term. Meanwhile, gas prices appear to be very fluid in a number of states. The mountain west, which enjoyed the lowest prices in the nation over the course of the winter, have seen prices climb in recent weeks. Lower prices, meanwhile, are returning to southeastern states like Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.
The states with the most expensive gas this week are:
Washington, DC ($4.057)
New York ($4.110)
Washington State ($4.087)
The states with the least expensive gas this week are:
South Carolina ($3.624)
To check your local gas prices, go to the News Tribune Gas Prices Page.