U.S. average retail gasoline prices fell below $4 a gallon to the lowest level since early March, according to data from AAA.
Prices were at $3.99 figures released Thursday showed, continuing a downward trend for almost two months. Costs have fallen with cheaper oil and relatively weak demand. By one measure, fuel consumption has recently been lower than it was during the summer of 2020 when the country was in the throes of the pandemic.
So far this summer, a slump in the crude price and underwhelming demand for the fuel have helped drag U.S. retail gas prices lower. On Wednesday, figures showed that the surge in the consumer price index decelerated last month, cooling from a 9% increase in June when fuel prices hit multiple record highs. Rampant inflation has been squeezing American households for months, and the steady run of declines in the fuel price is likely to start to ease some of that pressure.
The drop comes after average national pump prices hit a record $5.016 a gallon on June 13. Oil prices, the main driver of gasoline costs, have been in retreat as traders brace for recession and the US government released crude from its emergency reserves to enhance supplies.