Valdosta, GA- Retail gas prices continue to follow the downward trend seen in March as bearish economic news does not support speculation of increased fuel demand. Crude prices made steep declines last week after the Labor Department reported payrolls increased by 88,000 in March, the smallest increase in nine months and less than half of the expected gain of 190,000. In addition, U.S. stockpiles of crude oil increased by more than two million barrels during the last week of March, according to the Energy Information Administration.
At this time last year, retail gas prices were climbing their way to the year’s peak average of $3.94 nationally. During the entire month of April, motorists paid more than $3.80 a gallon for regular retail gasoline.
“Although gas prices were expected to rise in April, the first week shows signs of a continued decline in prices at the pump,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. “The economic news released last week does not support increased fuel demand and means motorists will likely see falling gas prices again this week.”
A barrel of oil closed Friday at $92.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange — $4.53 less than the week prior.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.60, 4 cents less than last week. Florida’s average of $3.59 fell 5 cents and Georgia’s average of $3.46 also fell 4 cents from last week.