The average U.S. gas price is now $3.58 a gallon, down from nearly $3.75 a year ago.
Analysts speculate that this is the result of a rise in crude oil production and a decrease in consumer demand. “We have seen rising crude oil inventories playing a role in lower gasoline prices,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at Gasbuddy.com, tells The Daily Ticker. “Last year there were a few major refinery incidents. Really we’ve had a lack of unexpected refining problems and that’s kept pressure at the gas pump down."
DeHaan explains that the decrease in consumer demand is due to changed habits induced by higher gas prices. “Higher gas prices have led to demand destruction,” says DeHaan. “Americans have made some permanent changes to their lifestyle, perhaps their driving habits as well that are keeping demand from moving higher. Let’s face it, the economy is still in a fragile recovery mode and that’s leading some people to consume less gas than they would otherwise.”
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