Down, Down, Down...Gas Prices are Headed Down


Northeast Ohio's average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline has decreased 7.6 cents this week. The price at the pump is $2.516 a gallon. Today, the national average price is $2.598 a gallon.

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge, oil prices ended the day mostly unchanged from where they ended last week, down just 38 cents to close at $69.50 per barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil prices experienced an eventful few days last week, as a combination of dollar strength and less than stellar reports on oil and gasoline demand pushed prices downward nearly six dollars from where they began the week. While mid-to-late December is typically a time oil prices experience downward pressure, the drop in price to nearly two-month lows took many investors by surprise.

While much of what was pressuring oil prices lower last week was related to the strength of the dollar, the start of this week's trading was driven by supply and demand fundamentals. On that front, OPEC has signaled it is not likely to cut oil production at its meeting next week. The move is more or less a reaction to only sluggish improvements in international oil demand over the past couple of months.

Many economic signals are also pointing to a slow return for oil demand, a good thing for consumers in the short term because sluggish oil demand will help moderate retail gasoline prices. For the remainder of 2009 consumers can expect retail gasoline to remain mostly stable, barring any unforeseen events.

This week's average prices: Northeast Ohio Average . . . . . . . . . . $2.516

Average price during the week of December 8, 2009 . . . . . . . . . . $2.592

Average price during the week of December 16, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . $1.691

The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.482  Alliance

$2.466  Ashland

$2.515  Ashtabula

$2.490  Aurora

$2.587  Chesterland

$2.526  Cleveland

$2.554  Elyria

$2.520  Independence

$2.504  Lorain

$2.543  Lyndhurst

$2.462  Massillon

$2.521  Mentor

$2.499  New Philadelphia

$2.515  Niles

$2.504  Norwalk

$2.551  Oberlin

$2.531  Parma

$2.488  Ravenna

$2.522  Solon

$2.549  Willard

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky servicing 2.6 million members.

©2009 WOIO. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.