The price at the pump continues its decline for the ninth straight week, but the drop the past seven days is less than it had been. There are some signs that the streak could come to an end this week before reaching the levels prior to the price surge in February.
According to GasBuddy.com, a crowd-sourced gas price reporting app and website, the Tuesday morning nationwide average price stood at $3.92 per gallon, down seven cents from a week ago. In Kentucky, the average was substantially less, $3.55 a gallon, which was eight cents per gallon cheaper, when compared to the $3.63 last Tuesday.
Kentucky prices usually mirror those found in the Great Lakes region.
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There are several mitigating factors to seeing possible higher gas prices in the medium term.
Heavy selling pressure hit oil markets early Monday as China reported economic data on Sunday showing concerns over demand, as credit growth slowed amidst fresh Covid-19 flare-ups. A deepening property crisis was also causing jitters of a broader economic slowdown there, pushing oil prices down.
West Texas Intermediate crude was last down $4.43 per barrel or 4.8%, to $87.66, roughly on par with last week’s open. Brent crude was down $4.64 per barrel or 4.7%, to $93.50, just above last Monday’s start. Also on the radar was Iran’s possible production deal, which could see its oil exports ramp up in case of a broader nuclear deal, also pushing oil lower.
In addition, U.S. oil inventories saw a notable jump last week, climbing 5.5 million barrels, which are now slightly above last year, while the Strategic Petroleum Reserve fell 5.3 million barrels and is now 25% lower than a year ago. Domestic oil production jumped 100,000 barrels to 12.2 million barrels, the highest since the pandemic hit in 2020.