EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 12, 2014

New Year brings dip in gas prices

Auto Scene
Jeffrey Zygmont

---- — After closing 2013 with eight consecutive weeks of increases, regional gasoline prices greeted 2014 by finally turning lower. During the first full week of the new year, price drops across Massachusetts and New Hampshire were small, but at least they edged in the right direction. If this is a New Year’s resolution by the motor-fuel industry, let’s hope the gasoline companies don’t break it.

The overall, 50-state average also dropped last week. It was the second straight week in which the national average moved lower.

According to state-by-state fuel-price tracking by the auto club AAA, the average price for self-service regular gas in Massachusetts nudged downward to $3.504 per gallon on Wednesday. That was a 0.3-penny decrease from the prior Wednesday’s figure of $3.507, AAA reported.

In New Hampshire, a seven-day decline of 0.8 cents put the state-wide average for self-service regular at $3.422 on Wednesday, compared to $3.430 the prior week, according to the auto club.

The group reported a U.S. national average of $3.310 on Wednesday, down 1.3 cents from the prior Wednesday’s $3.323.

Prices started last year slightly better, but very close to even, with regional and national averages just a little lower during the first week of 2013. This year, Wednesday’s Massachusetts average was 1.9 cents higher than the figure AAA released on the same day of 2013. The New Hampshire average on Wednesday was 0.3 cents higher than the state’s average on the same day last year. Last week’s national figure was exactly one penny above the coast-to-coast average price for self-service regular gas on the corresponding day at the start of last year.