(WOIO) - The current average price at the pump for a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline in Northeast Ohio is $2.693. This reflects a 4.1 cent drop from last week.
According to AAA's Fuel Gauge, the price of crude oil surged ahead $2.39 to end Monday at $81.34, its highest price since the first week of May. Crude continued to follow the direction of the stock market as a new month signaled renewed optimism on the direction of the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed more than 200 points in intraday trading. Monday's performance comes on the strength of better-than-expected European bank quarterly earnings, stronger U.S. construction spending and improved domestic manufacturing data. A weaker dollar also contributed to the climb in the price of crude.
Last week's Department of Energy (DOE) report provided mixed energy demand data. Gasoline demand topped 9.6 million b/d, the highest weekly figure of 2010 and the highest number since August 2007. However, the DOE report defied many analysts' predictions as crude oil stocks increased by 7.3 million barrels. Recent weather events in the Gulf - Hurricane Alex and Tropical Storm Bonnie - while not having a huge impact on refining operations, were thought to at least lead to a draw down in crude supplies.
According to the Federal Highway Administration's vehicle miles traveled (VMT) data, July and August are, historically, the months in which Americans drive the most miles. Fuel demand during these two months provides the support for higher fuel prices in the summer. The Labor Day travel holiday period - considered the "unofficial" end of summer - is about five weeks away. Labor Day weekend also signals the end of the summer driving season. Over the next four weeks, motorists may experience the high end of fuel prices for the remainder of 2010 as fuel prices tend to decline sharply during the months of September and October.
The national average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $2.726. The current national average price is down 1.6 cents when compared to last week 1.2 cents one month ago . The price of gasoline has been remarkably consistent this summer with prices remaining within a five-cent range ($2.70-$2.75) since May 28. This time last year, the national average price was $2.549 per gallon, or nearly 17.7 cents less than the current price.
This week's average prices: Northeast Ohio Average $2.693
Average price during the week of July 27, 2010 $2.734
Average price during the week of August 4, 2009 $2.486
The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
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.