VIRGINIA BEACH — The national average for a gallon of gas fell to $4.21, down 14 cents since last week, but an increase in demand could end the downward trend in prices at the pump, according to AAA Tidewater.
“We know that most American drivers have made significant changes in their driving habits to cope with high gas prices,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist. “But with gas below $4 a gallon at nearly half of the gas stations around the country, it’s possible that gas demand could rise.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased from 8.52 million to 9.25 million barrels per day last week. While the estimated rate is lower than last year, it could slow pump price decreases if the trend holds. Additionally, domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 3.3 million barrels, signaling that higher demand reduced inventory.
Meanwhile, new survey data from AAA finds that drivers are making significant changes to in their driving habits to cope with high pump prices, including driving less, combining errands, and reducing shopping or dining out.
Monday’s national average of $4.21 is 63 cents less than a month ago and $1.04 more than a year ago.
At $3.99, prices across the Commonwealth fell for the seventh straight week, $0.87 lower than the highest state average of $4.86 on June 14. In Hampton Roads, prices dropped 16 cents to $3.96 — 75 cents lower than last month, but $0.99 higher than a year ago, according to AAA Tidewater.