US: new vehicle buyers rejoice, gasoline prices continue to slump

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With global crude oil prices still on the declines and large inventories of produced gasoline in the US, the American motorists have enjoyed a falling national average price for regular unleaded gasoline for 17 straight days. According to the latest survey conducted by the AAA, during the period customers have saved – on average at country-wide level – 12 cents per gallon. The discount is of six cents per gallon week-over-week and nine cents per gallon month-over-month. Prices are also massively lower than during the same period in 2014, with the national average plunging 85 cents per gallon at $2.20 per gallon, the lowest price since February. And the motorists have more reason to celebrate – analysts and industry experts believe the market is set to drive the prices even lower – with a country-wide average set to go below the $2 per gallon threshold. Currently drivers in South Carolina already pay just $1.89 per gallon while Alabama and Mississippi follow closely at $1.92 per gallon for the top three lowest average pump prices. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum sits Hawaii which has an average of $2.89 per gallon. California, Nevada, Alaska and Washington are also in the top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline. Still, all drivers across US states are paying for the fourth week in a row averages sitting the $3 per gallon threshold. There are now also reports the current low prices for crude oil have started to affect oil companies, with the latest available figures from the U.S. Department of Energy signaling an increase in the country’s crude oil stocks, even as the rig count in the US has fallen for eight weeks in a row.