NORTHEAST OHIO (WOIO) - The average price for a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline in Northeast Ohio plummeted 15.4 cents this week. Northeast Ohio motorists will be paying $3.499 per gallon.
According to AAA's Fuel Gauge, crude oil prices settled up 25 cents at $93.26 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX on Monday. This marks a more than $4 per barrel decline on the week and more than $20 — 18.1 percent — per barrel decline from the multi-year high price of $113.93 per barrel on April 29 of this year.
The major focus of market analysts over the last week has been on the growing fear of Greece defaulting on its debt. A Greek default would be expected to drive down the value of the euro and subsequently raise the value of the dollar, as the U.S. economy would be viewed as relatively more stable. Because oil futures are traded in U.S. dollars, when the dollar strengthens, investors, including those holding foreign currencies, get comparatively less oil for their money. This makes crude oil a less attractive investment, which pressures prices downward.
Data released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) added to the growing concern of demand destruction and slowed global growth. After twelve months of year-over-year increases, the FHWA reported that April's vehicle miles traveled (VMT) were down 2.4% versus the same month last year. This decline is widely attributed to the spike in crude oil prices beginning in mid-February that set off the rapid rise in the national average price of gasoline at the pump. While the May decline in crude oil prices has eased the national average pump price away from the $4 per gallon mark, U.S. gasoline demand may remain weak in light of discouraging unemployment and housing markets.
As crude oil prices have continued to decline, so too has the national average price of gasoline. The current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.637. This is 5.9 cents lower than the price one week ago, 21.5 cents lower than the price one month ago and 32 cents lower than the current high price for the year of $3.98 on May 5, 2011.
This week's average prices: Northeast Ohio Average $3.499
Average price during the week of June 14, 2011 $3.853
Average price during the week of June 22, 2010 $2.718
The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas: