EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 1, 2013

Gas prices dribble a bit lower

Auto Scene
Jeffrey Zygmont

---- — Regional gasoline prices fell very slightly again last week. It was the fifth straight week in which pump prices declined across Massachusetts and New Hampshire, according to service-station tracking by the auto club AAA.

But bad omens loomed. The overall U.S. average, factoring in all 50 states, rose over the seven-day period. Worse, the price of crude oil jumped last week as signs of a widening war in Syria created fears about the future oil supply. Crude oil is refined to create gasoline, so any increase in its price can translate to an increase at the pumps.

But last week, Massachusetts drivers could celebrate a small dip in pump prices. AAA put the Bay State average for self-service regular at $3.668 on Wednesday. That was one penny lower than the prior Wednesday’s average of $3.678. Wednesday’s state average was 10.0 cents lower than the $3.768 recorded on the same day of 2012.

New Hampshire saw a smaller decline. Wednesday’s average for self-service regular, at $3.621 per gallon, was only 0.1 cents lower than the prior week’s $3.622, according to the auto club. On the same day of 2012, the Granite State average of $3.721 was 10.0 cents above Wednesday’s figure.

Wednesday’s U.S. national average of $3.546 was 1.3 cents higher than the prior Wednesday’s $3.533, AAA reported. But one year earlier, the national figure of $3.756 was 21.0 cents higher than Wednesday’s average.