(Adds new data from July)
Sept 23 Gasoline prices in the United States
dropped four-tenths of a cent over the past two weeks as crude
oil prices fell, ending a long stretch of sustained price
increases, according to a widely followed survey.
The national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline
was $3.8338 on Sept. 21, down from $3.8376 on Sept. 7, according
to Trilby Lundberg, editor of the Lundberg Survey, which covers
some 2,500 gas stations nationwide.
While the decline is small enough to be considered "no
change," it ends a nine-week run of gas price increases dating
to July 13, when the average gallon of gas cost $3.41, Lundberg
said on Sunday.
The change was spurred by a fall in crude oil prices caused
in part by signals that Saudi Arabia may be willing to supply
more oil to the market to lower prices, Lundberg said.
The news could portend a period of price stability assuming
relative status quo in crude oil prices.
"Margins on gasoline for refiners and retailers are not only
positive but comparatively healthy, so there is no disadvantage
at the moment for the industry to withhold a price cut,"
Continued economic struggles in the United States and
Europe, as well as an economic slowdown in China, the world's
No. 2 oil consumer, also played a role in weakening demand, she
The end of the high-consumption summer months brought about
lower demand, while the resolution of issues at some U.S.
refineries increased supply, Lundberg added.
According to the survey, Chicago has the priciest gas at an
average of $4.25 a gallon, while drivers in Jackson,
Mississippi, pay the lowest average price of $3.52.
(Reporting By Nick Brown; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)