Prices at the pump dropped four cents this week due to low oil costs

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Gas prices continued their downward descent, dropping by four cents to $3.60 per gallon, AAA’s weekly prices report found. This week’s average is still seven cents more than it was this time last year.

Lackluster demand from drivers contributed to the drop in gas prices. Demand rose just slightly from 8.79 to 8.87 million barrels per day last week, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed. On top of a small jump in demand, lower oil prices are making gas cheaper at the pump. Oil sat at just under $80 a barrel last week, AAA reported.

“Barring some unforeseen event, this pokey drop in pump prices is not likely to change anytime soon,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “There are seven states with county gas averages at less than $3 a gallon. This trend will likely accelerate as more gas outlets east of the Rockies drop their prices.”

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States with the largest swing in average gas prices

Certain states saw larger fluctuations in gas prices, with some seeing prices jump while others dropped by 11 cents. Here are the states with the largest weekly changes:

  • Colorado (+14 cents)
  • Indiana (-11 cents)
  • New Mexico (+11 cents)
  • Nevada (-8 cents)
  • Utah (-8 cents)
  • Tennessee (-8 cents)
  • California (-7 cents)
  • Ohio (-7 cents)
  • Delaware (-6 cents)
  • Maryland (-6 cents)

The states with the most expensive gas prices include:

  • California ($5.24)
  • Hawaii ($4.80)
  • Washington ($4.62)
  • Nevada ($4.40)
  • Oregon ($4.40)
  • Alaska ($4.34)
  • Arizona ($3.92)
  • Illinois ($3.89)
  • Idaho ($3.83)
  • Pennsylvania ($3.75)

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Car buying market is starting to stabilize, slowly

There aren’t signs that the car buying market will return to pre-pandemic levels, but high prices are starting to ease. Used cars are beginning to stabilize and inventory is up all around, a Cars.com report found.

“The last five years have been highly volatile for auto, yet a pattern of stabilization is emerging,” Rebecca Lindland, senior director of industry data and insights at Cars Commerce said.

“We are navigating through a new normal, where vehicle costs are substantially higher and the mix of availability by price point has shifted. The recovery in more affordable new cars below $30,000 offers a silver lining, providing relief for consumers. As the market stabilizes month over month, we remain optimistic that the worst may be behind us,” said Lindland.

Used car prices still aren’t entirely affordable, despite some prices going down. Consumers pay $93 more per 1,000 odometer miles on used cars today than they did in 2021, the report stated.

New cars are still breaking the bank for many buyers. Prices are still up by more than 30% and there aren’t signs of them changing anytime soon.

Cars.com’s New Car Price Index is at 132.9, signaling an affordability crisis. Prices remain high and new car discounts aren’t as common as they were during the pandemic.

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