The higher gas prices drum is just about dead as we've continued to beat it over the last six weeks, as the national average has slowly continued its rise, sitting at $3.51/gal yesterday.
There could be more light at the end of the tunnel as oil prices dipped last week from $103/bbl back down to around $98/bbl. And while refineries certainly hold a stronger influence on immediate gasoline prices, lower oil prices certainly do have some role in pricing.
The national average starts this St. Patrick's Day at $3.51/gallon, or 15 cents per gallon lower than where it stood last year. Canada, on the other hand, has consistently seen prices higher than last year. Canada's national average stands at 131.4c/L, or over 3c/L higher than last year.
States seeing the lowest prices this morning: South Carolina at $3.21/gal, Mississippi at $3.24/gal, Montana $3.24/gal, Louisiana at $3.25/gal, and Tennessee at $3.27/gal.
On the high end, California reigns. Hawaii takes top honors at $4.14/gal, California at $3.95/gal, Alaska at $3.80/gal, Illinois at $3.77/gal, and Connecticut at $3.74/gal.
I expect the national average will rise, ever so slightly this week- a break compared to what we've seen in recent weeks. In some areas, prices may even drop a few cents per gallon, but keep in mind- by and large, prices will soon again begin moving higher, so consider this break a third quarter time-out. Prices will accelerate again in a couple weeks.