Sacramento-area gasoline prices fell for the first time in more than a month over the past week, and energy analysts said California motorists easily cleared a hurdle that seriously dented their pocketbooks in past years.
The average retail price of gas in Sacramento declined 1.3 cents last week to $2.63 a gallon, according to Monday’s report by national gas price tracker GasBuddy.com. That’s up 28.1 cents from last month, but the current average is 31.3 cents lower than it was at this time last year.
“It’s especially rare in April to see the average price of gasoline dead even or slightly lower in some places than where it was in the prior week, and as encouraging as that news certainly is for U.S. motorists, unfortunately, it’s more of an anomaly than a trend,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
On Feb. 22, GasBuddy said the average price of gas in the area was $2.08 a gallon, the lowest since late 2008. Since then, prices have risen, driven in part by a rally in crude oil markets and refineries making the transition to pricier spring/summer-blend gasoline.
However, this year’s price rise during the refinery-transition period was moderate compared with those seen in recent years. The average price on April 11, 2014, was $3.91 a gallon.
Nationally, GasBuddy said the average retail price of gas fell 1.2 cents over the past week to $2.04 a gallon, up 15.6 cents per gallon from last month but about 35 cents lower than the year-ago average.