Auto Club: Gas Prices Continue Downward Trend

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2003) — Average gas prices continued to move down in most locations monitored by the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. Low wintertime demand and consistent production are the primary reasons for the downward trend.

Starting last week, the Weekend Gas Watch expanded its coverage to major U.S. cities, since many Southland residents rent cars when they travel throughout the country.

In California prices have dropped between 2-3 cents. Currently, the average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $1.663, which is 2.9 cents lower than last week. This price is 4.4 cent lower than last month and 13.7 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $ 1.681, which is 3.4 cents below last week's level, 4.9 cents below last month and 8.3 cents higher than last year. Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $1.770, which is 3.2 cents lower than last week's price, 4.6 cents below last month and 16.9 cents higher than last year.

"Just in time for the holidays gas prices are falling throughout Southern California and all over the country," said Carol Thorp, Auto Club spokesperson. "Unless there is an interruption in supply, we expect prices to remain near this level through the end of the month. Then we'll see what happens."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at metropolitan destinations throughout the nation.

Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., Dec. 19:

Local and Nearby Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $1.663 -0.029 cents $2.167 (3/22/03)
San Diego $1.681 -0.034 cents $2.211 (3/20/03)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $1.770 -0.032 cents $2.233 (8/27/03)
Las Vegas, NV $1.634
-0.039 cents
$2.063 (3/25/03)
Phoenix-Mesa, AZ $1.512 -0.019 cents $2.146 (8/26/03)
National Average $1.471 -0.014 $1.737 (8/30/2003)
Other Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
New York $1.745 0.014 $1.968 (9/6/2003)
Washington, D.C. $1.583 -0.017 $1.797 (5/16/2001)
Boston $1.545 -0.007 $1.812 (9/3/2003)
Philadelphia $1.543 -0.016 $1.807 (9/3/2003)
Atlanta $1.331 0.009 $1.589 (3/18/2003)
Miami $1.496 -0.008 $1.761 (3/18/2003)
Chicago $1.577 -0.004 $2.142 (6/19/2000)
Detroit $1.434 0.015 $2.137 (6/20/2000)
Kansas City, MO $1.351 0.052 $1.790 (6/21/2000)
St. Louis $1.364 0.084 $1.767 (5/17/2001)
Denver $1.357 0.001 $1.780 (6/5/2001)
Dallas $1.401 -0.002 $1.666 (5/12/2001)
Houston $1.369 -0.002 $1.639 (5/12/2001)
Salt Lake City $1.519 -0.017 $1.789 (9/4/2003)
Seattle $1.532 -0.029 $1.969 (9/4/2003)
San Francisco $1.764 -0.029 $2.276 (3/19/2003)
Honolulu $2.011 0.003 $2.054 (10/2/2003)

The national average price of regular gasoline has been inching downward for the past couple of weeks. Demand is high for this time of year, but there is a lot of gasoline being imported from Europe and Venezuela. Those imports have helping to push prices lower. The national average may drop another couple of cents before the end of 2003.

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