2013 could be just the second year out of the last eight that features lower gasoline prices on January 15 than the preceding Christmas. Currently 11% of gasoline stations across the United States are under $3/gallon, while last year on this date, that percentage was a mere 3%. It's a good sign for motorists, and for economic growth in the year ahead.
Assisted by rising gasoline inventories, gasoline prices may continue to remain subdued for the next month or so, before rising ahead of the switch over to cleaner burning summer gasoline. American's appetite for gasoline has also ebbed as the cold weather infiltrates and keeps motorists inside more so than during the warmer months.
In our yearly forecast released last week, we highlighted that the national average will be between $3.21-$3.43 for January and barely rising to $3.25-$3.52 for February.
The lowest gasoline prices today remain in the valleys and hills of the Rockies. Colorado leads the nation with the lowest price of $2.79 per gallon, nearly 19 cents lower than a year ago. Prices in Utah are close behind, averaging $2.81/gal, some 7 cents lower than a year ago. Also in the hunt is Wyoming, with prices averaging $2.82, 11c/gal lower than last year. And finally, New Mexico- with prices 10c/gal lower than a year ago, averaging $2.91.
Overall, 14% of U.S. states have an average price under $3/gallon, while poor Hawaii suffers with an average price of $4.04/gal, 2 cents higher than a year ago.
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