Auto Club: Gas Prices Beginning to Level Off

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

Price Stability Expected for the Next 2–3 Weeks

(LOS ANGELES, January 23, 2004) — After two weeks of sharp increases, the price of gasoline began leveling off last week as the Los Angeles–Long Beach area saw its average price go up by less than a penny per gallon, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The national average for gasoline increased by 1.3 cents per gallon.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $1.740, which is six-tenths of a cent higher than last week. This price is 9 cents higher than last month and 10 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $1.761, which is 2.6 cents above last week's level, 9 cents above last month and 6 cents higher than last year. Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $1.831, which is six-tenths of a cent higher than last week's price, 3 cents above last month and 14 cents higher than last year.

"The supply of gasoline is plentiful at this time and demand is low," said Carol Thorp, Auto Club spokesperson. "Because of this, refineries will be needing less crude oil. We should see a decline in the price of crude, which has been trading at about $36 per barrel. Gasoline prices should remain stable or even trend downward over the next 2–3 weeks. That situation could change substantially in the first week of February, when gasoline prices are expected to begin a steep increase that could last through the spring."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at metropolitan destinations throughout the nation. The national average price of gasoline increased 1.3 cents per gallon last week as demand for gas lessened and the nation's inventories began filling up. Over the next 2–3 weeks, gas prices are expected to stabilize or trend lower in some regions. By the beginning of February, gas prices are expected to begin increasing. Some regions may see steep upward trends lasting through the spring.

Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., Jan. 23:

Local and Nearby Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $1.740 +$0.006 $2.167 (3/22/03)
San Diego $1.761 +$0.026 $2.211 (3/20/03)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $1.831 +$0.006 $2.233 (8/27/03)
National Average $1.594 +$0.013 $1.737 (8/30/2003)
Other Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
New York $1.798 +$0.019 $1.968 (9/6/2003)
Washington, D.C. $1.635 +$0.007 $1.797 (5/16/2001)
Boston $1.626 +$0.023 $1.812 (9/3/2003)
Philadelphia $1.618 +$0.034 $1.807 (9/3/2003)
Atlanta $1.504 -$0.004 $1.589 (3/18/2003)
Miami $1.662 +$0.018 $1.761 (3/18/2003)
Chicago $1.692 +$0.023 $2.142 (6/19/2000)
Detroit $1.590 -$0.002 $2.137 (6/20/2000)
Kansas City, MO $1.489 +$0.006 $1.790 (6/21/2000)
St. Louis $1.566 -$0.031 $1.767 (5/17/2001)
Denver $1.475 +$0.005 $1.780 (6/5/2001)
Dallas $1.536 +$0.023 $1.666 (5/12/2001)
Houston $1.519 +$0.020 $1.639 (5/12/2001)
Salt Lake City $1.554 +$0.013 $1.789 (9/4/2003)
Las Vegas, NV $1.698 +$0.022 $2.063 (3/25/03)
Phoenix, AZ $1.562 -$0.007 $2.146 (8/26/03)
Seattle $1.682 +$0.053 $1.969 (9/4/2003)
San Francisco $1.864 +$0.041 $2.276 (3/19/2003)
Honolulu $1.992 -$0.007 $2.054 (10/2/2003)

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