The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that the average cost for Regular gasoline in America fell during the past week by one cent to $2.48 per gallon, the 6th weekly decline in row. Regionally, the cheapest gas in the country can be found in South Carolina, where a gallon of Regular costs just $2.19 on average. Residents of California as usual have to pay the most in the continental U.S. for Regular ($3.03/gallon), and San Francisco is again the city with the nation’s highest average price ($3.18/gallon).
The price at the pump has fallen markedly over the past month-and-a-half, as most of the refinery disruptions caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma have now been dealt with. However, even after the recent pullback, gasoline prices are still 43.8 percent above last year’s low. One reason for this is the continued rebound in the price of oil, and hedge fund managers’ net long position in the petroleum space remains elevated as emerging fundamentals are supportive of higher prices, e.g. slowing U.S. oil drilling, falling crude supplies, and increasing consumption of refined fuels in America and in export markets. Should oil prices continue to rise and put upward pressure on the cost of gasoline it could be a drag on consumer spending, especially since cheaper gasoline was not able to provide much of a boost to retail sales.
Sources: U.S. EIA, GasBuddy, U.S. CFTC, Reuters
Post author: Charles CouchDisclosures