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The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. filling stations fell 14.6 cents in the past two weeks to $3.4780 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
The survey covers the period ended June 22 and is based on information received from about 2,500 stations by the Camarillo, California-based company. The price is down 15.03 cents from a year earlier. It is 48.9 cents below the highest average this year of $3.9671, during the two weeks ended April 6.
Europe’s “woeful” economy and “unimpressive” growth in the U.S. have caused crude oil and gasoline prices to plummet, Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “If economic indicators appear even worse, then we will probably see oil prices decline further.”
Prices at the pump fell as West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange slid $4.24, or 5.2 percent, in two weeks to $79.76 a barrel on June 22. Futures have declined 27 percent since reaching a year-to- date high of $109.77 on Feb. 24.
Gasoline futures for June delivery on the Nymex sank 11.53 cents, or 4.2 percent, during the period to $2.5699. Gasoline has lost 25 percent since reaching a 2012 high of $3.4166 on March 26.
Futures have fallen on concern that growth is slowing in the U.S. and China as manufacturing weakens and more Americans than forecast filed for jobless claims in the week ended June 15, indicating fuel demand may decline.
A gauge of euro-region manufacturing fell to 44.8 from 45.1 in May, London-based Markit Economics said June 21 in an initial estimate. The preliminary reading of 48.1 for a June Chinese purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit indicated contraction.
The Federal Reserve on June 20 cut its growth estimates for the U.S. economy. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, speaking at a Washington press conference that same day, said policy makers are focusing “primarily” on the outlook for jobs in deciding whether to ease further, and more action would be needed without “sustained improvement in the labor market.”
Jobless claims in the U.S. declined 2,000 to 387,000 in the seven days ended June 15, Labor Department figures showed on June 21, higher than the 383,000 forecast in a survey by Bloomberg.
Oil may decline next week on signals that global economic growth is slowing as U.S. inventories increase, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Fourteen of 27 analysts, or 52 percent, forecast crude will decline through June 29. Nine respondents, or 33 percent, predicted that futures will be little changed and four said there will be an increase. Last week, 44 percent of analysts projected a decrease.
On Long Island, regular gasoline was $3.64 a gallon, according to Lundberg. Los Angeles-area retail stations averaged $3.83.
The highest price in the lower 48 U.S. states among the cities surveyed was in San Francisco, where the average was $3.95 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest price was in Jackson, Mississippi, where customers paid an average of $3.03 a gallon.
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