March 6 (UPI) — Gasoline prices climbed last week in the United States after three weeks of decreases at the pump, according to an analysis.
The national average of $2.53 for one gallon of regular gas is one cent more than last Monday with 25 states seeing increases, the motor club AAA reported Monday.
About 63 percent of the drivers in the United States are paying $2.50 per gallon or less.
“2018 has seen fluctuating crude oil prices, strong gasoline demand and new U.S. oil production records creating a volatile gas price market from month to month for consumers,” said Jeanette Casselano at AAA. “Typically, March brings more expensive pricing as days get longer, weather gets warmer and refineries gear up to switch over to pricier summer blends.”
Average prices are 22 cents higher than this time last year, but are 8 cents lower than last month.
Ohio had the largest weekly increase at 9 cents per gallon followed by Indiana at 8 cents, Georgia at 5 cents and 4 cents each for Alaska, Kansas and Michigan. The largest decrease was New Jersey with a 3 cent drop to $2.59.
In six states in the West Coast region, drivers are paying the highest pump prices in the country. It’s led by Hawaii at $3.50, followed by California at $3.35, Alaska at $3.06, Washington at $3.00, Oregon at $2.90 and Nevada at $2.79 — and prices in all of these states are up.
In the region, gasoline inventories dropped for the third consecutive week, decreasing by 1 million barrels. Stocks were lower because of planned maintenance at refineries in the region. But levels are still nearly 3 million barrels higher than last year at the same time.
Other high prices are $2.79 in Pennsylvania, $2.73 in Washington D.C.. $2.71 in New York and $2.69 in Connecticut.
In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, six states are in the 10 top list for largest year-over-year gas price change. It’s up to 30 cents more for a gallon on average.
The largest increases are Massachusetts and Rhode Islands at 31 cents. Vermont and New Jersey were was 1 cent behind, followed by New Jersey at 30 cents, Connecticut at 29 cents and New Hampshire at 28 cents.
In the South and Southwest, every state recorded higher prices. The biggest changes are Georgia at 5 cents, South Carolina at 3 cents and Texas at 3 cents. Compared with last year, New Mexico’s 11 cent increase is the smallest and Florida’s 25 cents tops the region.
All five states in the Rockies are paying less at the pump compared with last week — led by Utah at 3 cents. At $2.41, Colorado is the least expensive in the region.