Retail gasoline prices stabilize after record 21-cent jump

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) -- Retail gasoline prices rose a fraction of a penny in the past three weeks, stabilizing after a steep climb of 21 cents a gallon since early June, an analyst said Sunday.

The average price for a gallon of self-serve gasoline nationwide, including all grades and taxes, was $1.75 on Friday, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations.

That was up about 0.29 of a cent since the last Lundberg Survey was taken Aug. 22.

Analyst Trilby Lundberg said the end of the summer driving season and a general reduction in the cost of crude oil helped prices stabilize.

"I expect gasoline prices to go down from here," Lundberg said.

Price cuts already were occurring in some parts of the country, including much of the West Coast and parts of the Midwest and Gulf Coast, Lundberg said.

The earlier increase was the largest retail price hike on record since the Lundberg Survey began keeping records 50 years ago. Two-thirds of it came between Aug. 8 and Aug. 22.

During August, East Coast and Midwest electricity blackouts shut down several refineries, and a West Coast pipeline rupture halted gasoline deliveries to Phoenix and soaked up already tight regional supplies.

As of Friday, self-serve regular gasoline showed an average weighted price of $1.72 a gallon, with midgrade at $1.82 and premium at $1.91.


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