The painful rise of gasoline prices across the U.S. may have finally reached its end, for now. But analysts said more time is needed to determine whether this is a peak or just a pause.
There were some encouraging signs. Overnight, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline saw an all-too-rare decline of 0.2 cents to $3.927, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. The AAA uses prices compiled from more than 100,000 retail outlets by the Oil Price Information Service and by Wright Express.
In the 23 states with averages of $3.90 or above for a gallon of regular gasoline, 22 saw declines since Sunday. The average rose in Pennsylvania, the state that has been hardest hit by refinery closures and tightening supplies.
Two of those 23 states--Michigan and Indiana--have dropped below $4 a gallon since last week, reducing the number of states above $4 to eight. In California, the state where prices first began to drop, the average fell to $4.264 a gallon, off 4.3 cents since last week.