Auto Club: Gas Prices Continue Very Slow Decline

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, March 19, 2004) — For the second straight week gasoline prices slipped lower, but the decline was so small that in many areas it was imperceptible, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The national average for gasoline decreased a half-cent last week.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $2.171, which is 2.1 cents lower than last week. This price is 25 cents higher than last month and 1 cent higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.191, which is 2.1 cents lower than last week, 25 cents above last month and 1 cent lower than last year. Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $2.245, which is 1.5 cents lower than last week, 25 cents above last month and 6 cents higher than last year.

"Average pump prices near $2.20 per gallon are much higher than we would expect to see when compared to wholesale prices that are around $1.30 per gallon," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "Normally we would expect steady declines over the next couple of weeks, but record high prices for crude oil this week complicate the situation and make it difficult to predict whether gas prices will continue falling or take an upward turn over the next few weeks."

The national average price of gasoline declined by a half-penny per gallon last week. There is concern that the average price will increase in coming weeks. National demand for gasoline of 9 million barrels per day; that is 5 percent higher than last year and it is a 10 percent increase over the three-year average.

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

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

Local and Nearby Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.171 -2.1 cents $2.202 (3/4/2004)
San Diego $2.191 -2.1 cents $2.217 (3/6/2004)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $2.245 -1.5 cents $2.276 (3/6/2004)
National Average $1.723 -0.5 cents $1.737 (8/30/2003)
Other Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
New York $1.906 +0.1 cents $1.968 (9/6/2003)
Washington, D.C. $1.725 0.0 cents $1.797 (5/16/2001)
Boston $1.725 +2.0 cents $1.812 (9/3/2003)
Philadelphia $1.740 +1.2 cents $1.807 (9/3/2003)
Atlanta $1.588 -1.4 cents $1.603 (3/10/2004)
Miami $1.778 +2.2 cents $1.761 (3/18/2003)
Chicago $1.757 2.7 cents $2.142 (6/19/2000)
Detroit $1.690 -0.3 cents $2.137 (6/20/2000)
Kansas City, MO $1.620 +1.6 cents $1.790 (6/21/2000)
St. Louis $1.610 -4.3 cents $1.767 (5/17/2001)
Denver $1.663 +0.7 cents $1.780 (6/5/2001)
Dallas $1.624 +1.2 cents $1.666 (5/12/2001)
Houston $1.598 +0.3 cents $1.639 (5/12/2001)
Salt Lake City $1.780 +2.1 cents $1.789 (9/4/2003)
Las Vegas, NV $2.101 -0.2 cents $2.105 (3/6/2004)
Phoenix, AZ $1.973 -0.3 cents $2.146 (8/26/2003)
Seattle $1.838 -0.4 cents $1.969 (9/4/2003)
San Francisco $2.248 -1.4 cents $2.276 (3/19/2003)
Honolulu $2.024 -0.1 cents $2.054 (10/2/2003)

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