CAMARILLO, Calif. -- The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. filling stations fell 0.38 cents in the past two weeks to $3.8338 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
The survey covers the period ended Sept. 21 and is based on information obtained from about 2,500 stations by the Camarillo, Calif.-based company. The average is up 28.92 cents from a year earlier. Gasoline is 13.33 cents below the year-to-date high of $3.9671 on April 6.
"It is very possible that we will have a period of falling gasoline prices," Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said today in a telephone interview. "It's unknowable exactly what crude oil prices will do, but if oil cooperates, then we may have sizable gasoline price declines from here."
Prices at the pump declined as West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $3.53, or 3.7 percent, to $92.89 a barrel in the two weeks to Sept. 21. Oil, which slid 6.2 percent last week on the Nymex, has risen 20 percent from a year-to-date low of $77.69 on June 28.
Gasoline futures on the Nymex fell 7.71 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $2.9425 a gallon in the two weeks ended Sept. 21. Prices have gained 15 percent from the year-to-date low of $2.5501 on June 21.
Crude inventories rose 8.53 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 14, the biggest gain since March. Gasoline stockpiles slid 1.41 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 14 to 196.3 million, the lowest level since October 2008, according to Energy Department data.
Oil may decline after data from Asia, Europe and North America bolstered concern that global economic growth is slowing, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Thirteen of 27 analysts, or 48 percent, forecast crude will decrease through Sept. 28. Seven respondents, or 26 percent, predicted that futures will gain and seven said there will be little change in prices. Last week, 53 percent of analysts projected a drop.
Regular gasoline on Long Island averaged about $4.08 a gallon, according to Lundberg. Los Angeles-area retail stations averaged $4.11.
The highest price in the lower 48 U.S. states among the markets surveyed was in Chicago, where the average was $4.25 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest price was in Jackson, Mississippi, where customers paid an average of $3.52 a gallon.
In California, the lowest average price was $4.03 in Bakersfield. San Francisco has the highest at $4.19. The average statewide for a gallon of regular was $4.11.