On Friday of last week, Standard & Poor lowered its rating for U.S. debt one notch from AAA to AA+. Following the downgrade, oil fell to the lowest price in more than eight months as investors fled commodities for assets such as Treasury bills and gold after the downgrade. Poor economic news flooded the market and pushed oil prices below $90 a barrel, despite government agreements to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
Oil prices had the largest weekly loss since May 6, when the death of Osama bin Laden was announced. Crude oil prices were down more than $3 per barrel Monday afternoon. Further declines in oil and gad prices are anticipated.
The downgrade exacerbated continuing concerns about the US economy and possible declines in demand for oil and oil products. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude lost an additional $3.33 a barrel to $83.55 during trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That broke the previous low for the year of $84.32 a barrel in February.
Contributing to the crude price decline, consumer confidence reached its lowest level in two months, and consumer spending fell for the first time in almost two years, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Gas prices are currently averaging $3.66 a gallon in the US, down four cents from one week ago, but five cents higher than one month ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
The following states all have gas prices averaging more than $3.80 per gallon:
- Alaska $3.946
- New York $3.949
- Connecticut $4.020
- District of Columbia $3.895
- Hawaii $4.148
- Illinois $3.856
- Washington $3.809
- Rhode Island $3.838
California, which typically has the highest gas prices in the continental US, didn’t even make the list. Gas prices in California are averaging $3.79 a gallon. Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, said California’s gas prices could be headed as low as $3.25 to $3.30 a gallon at some of the cheaper retail outlets.
In St Louis, gas prices are averaging $3.40 a gallon, down 6 cents from one week ago. In Ohio, gas prices are averaging $3.61 per gallon, down 5 cents from one week ago. Gas prices in New Mexico fell by an average of 4 cents per gallon to $3.49 a gallon. Gas prices in South Florida are $3.78 a gallon, down 5 cents from one week ago.
If you or your business has been affected by this year’s high gas prices, you may want to consider investing in a GPS fleet tracking system. A GPS fleet tracking system can help you save time, money and instantly reduce fuel costs. Fleet GPS is a feature-rich navigation system that is uniquely positioned to help improve the efficiency of our cars in ways that reduce fuel consumption and improve sustainability for all.