After weeks of steady declines, the retail price of gasoline began moving higher this week. Whether this is a temporary or long-term trend remains to be seen.
The national average price of self-serve regular today is $3.358 per gallon, up from $3.353 last Friday, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Survey. Gas prices are still 21 cents a gallon lower than they were a month ago.
The average price of diesel fuel today is $3.662 per gallon, down from $3.670 a week ago.
What's behind the reversal in declining prices? Two things. Last Friday the price of crude oil surged nearly 10 percent following encouraging news from the European Union summit addressing economic concerns in that region. That suggested that the world might not be headed for a global recession after all.
Also, tensions with Iran heightened once again over it's nuclear program. The U.S. Navy moved a task force to the Persian Gulf region.
That's when prices at the pump stopped falling for the first time since mid April and started ticking up again by about one or two cents a day. Prices still continued falling in states with the most expensive fuel, like Hawaii, California and Oregon.
In states with the cheapest fuel, the price decline slowed to a stop, or in the case of South Carolina, with the nation's cheapest gas, actually moved up a bit.
The states with the highest gas prices this week are:
- Hawaii ($4.229)
- Alaska ($4.077)
- California ($3.723)
- Connecticut ($3.637)
- Washington State ($3.612)
- Idaho ($3.615)
- New York ($3.610)
- Colorado ($3.593)
- Oregon ($3.573)
- Illinois ($3.576)
The states with the lowest gas prices this week are:
- South Carolina ($2.960)
- Mississippi ($3.014)
- Tennessee ($3.035)
- Alabama ($3.037)
- Louisiana ($3.102)
- Arkansas ($3.155)
- Georgia ($3.162)
- Virginia ($3.176)
- Texas ($3.176)
- Missouri ($3.209)
Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.