Gasoline prices are lower than they were a year ago in the United States. And not just in a few cities, but every major city that GasBuddy tracks- some 166 of them across all 50 states. Prices in some areas are over 50 cents per gallon lower than where they were this date last year- like in Chicago and nearby Gary, Indiana.
And while the savings isn't that substantial in some areas, even the U.S. average is down some 24 cents per gallon versus this time a year ago. Even at the bottom of the list, Fargo, North Dakota is seeing prices 4.6 cents per gallon lower than last year.
Motorists, however, seem skeptical. In fact, on the
GasBuddy Facebook page, some users expressed disbelief and argued that prices were higher than a year ago. Some simply didn't even recall what gasoline prices were a year ago. And while some individual gasoline stations may have a higher price, average prices are by far lower, meaning most, if not all gas stations are selling under their year ago price- some by a significant difference.
In fact, we put together a list of the 166 cities that we specifically track together for motorists to see prices versus a year ago. The list
can be found here for those looking for proof.
While prices today are lower than a year ago, we're not quite safe yet, as we've previously indicated via interviews with the media. Across the nation's refineries, an extensive season of maintenance is continuing to take place. As we inch closer to the cleaner burning summer gasoline, refineries will finish their maintenance, and increase capacity. Many times, however, there are some minor to major incidents that can arise from this. Today's active refineries are very complex facilities, and problems do occur in which sends traders running into a panic, driving up prices.
Don't be surprised if we see the national average make some advances in April and May as refineries conclude their seasonal maintenance. Either way, as GasBuddy has previously indicated, we believe prices in 2013 generally won't be as nasty as 2012, with June being the month likely to feature among the lowest gasoline prices for the summer.