Gasoline Enters Bear Market in Parts of U.S.

Prices have fallen steadily over the past month across the country, and in some locations by enough to qualify for a significant milestone.

Gasoline prices have been falling steadily for the past six weeks or so.

Experts point to reduced demand from consumers suffering from surging inflation as well as the slowdown in economic activity taking hold as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates.

Of course, gasoline had a long way to fall given the surge that sent the average gallon of unleaded regular to $5.01 nationwide in early June.

Gasoline prices are subject to lots of regional variations, however. In many places it never topped $5 a gallon, while in others, notably California, it surged past $6 a gallon.


Regional Variations in Gas Prices

And as prices have fallen, the rates of decline have also varied. 

In the central mountain states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Colorado, the lingering effects of a fire at a key refinery have slowed the decline.

Elsewhere, however, gasoline has fallen rapidly, and even more so when measured in percentage terms.

Based on data form the American Automobile Association through July 27, the average price of a gallon of gas nationwide has fallen more than 10% over the past month to $4.30.

Biggest Statewide Declines

States seeing the biggest percentage declines over the past month include: Texas (-16.2%), Ohio (-16.1%), Wisconsin (-15.3%), Kentucky, (-14.7%) and Indiana (-14.3%).

States with the smallest percentage declines include: Alaska, (-6.8%), Oregon (-6.7%), Utah (-5.8%), Idaho (-4.1%) and Hawaii (-1.5%).

In certain metropolitan regions the declines have been even greater. Five of the 10 metropolitan areas seeing the biggest percentage declines are in Texas, including Abilene (-18.6%), Dallas (-19.4%), El Paso (-19.5%) and Fort Worth-Arlington (-19.8%).

And in three of the nations metro regions, gasoline prices have fallen more than 20% over the past month, qualifying for the “bear market” moniker. They include Henderson, Ky., (-20%), Sherman-Denison, Texas (-20.2%) and Steubenville-Weirton, W.Va. (-20.4%).

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