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Gas prices crept up this week, but not by much as oil prices fell

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The average price Americans pay at the pump increased this past week, but by just four cents, AAA reported. Drivers paid an average of $3.67 a gallon, 21 cents more than this time last year.

Prices increased slightly due to a small jump in demand. Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that gas demand rose from 8.61 to 8.66 million barrels per day last week.

Oil prices decreased, helping to ensure prices didn’t spike too high. Within the last few weeks, tensions in the Middle East have driven oil prices up, but this week, the cost of a barrel decreased into the low $80s. 

“The situation overseas with war in both the Middle East and Ukraine has the oil market on edge,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson said. 

“But this is also the time of year we may see a bit of a lull in gasoline demand between the end of spring breaks and ahead of Memorial Day. So, the national average for gas may waffle a bit with small increases, some flat days, and even some price dips,” Gross said.

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The ten least and most expensive markets

Gas prices fluctuate throughout the country. These 10 states have the least expensive prices:

  • Mississippi ($3.11)
  • Colorado ($3.16)
  • Louisiana ($3.18)
  • Oklahoma ($3.22)
  • Arkansas ($3.23)
  • New Mexico ($3.26)
  • Tennessee ($3.26)
  • Kansas ($3.26)
  • Alabama ($3.27)
  • South Carolina ($3.27)

At the other end of the spectrum, these are the states with the highest gas prices:

  • California ($5.45)
  • Hawaii ($4.78)
  • Washington ($4.67)
  • Nevada ($4.63)
  • Oregon ($4.44)
  • Alaska ($4.37)
  • Arizona ($3.13)
  • Utah ($3.96)
  • Illinois ($3.96)
  • Idaho ($3.93)

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Used and new vehicle prices are down

Car prices are still high, but both new and used vehicle prices have dropped in the last few months. Wholesale prices for used vehicles decreased by 1.9% during the first half of April, Cox Automotive reported.

The Manheim Used Vehicle Value index, which tracks the price of used cars, fell by 13.7% to 199.2. This index hasn’t fallen below 200 since March 2021, so it appears the effects of the pandemic had on the auto industry are starting to wear off.

Buyers looking to buy brand-new vehicles will find slightly lower prices at the dealerships. The average cost of a new car is $47,244, which is higher than in February 2021, but lower than January of this year, Kelley Blue Book reported.

“While everyone may applaud that prices are coming down, even marginally for the moment, affordability is still challenging the market,” Erin Keating, an executive analyst for Cox Automotive said.

“Most shoppers have not seen their incomes increase as quickly as vehicle prices, so the new-vehicle market remains a challenge,” Keating stated.

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Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at moneyexpert@credible.com and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

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