WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Retail gasoline prices in the United States should be lower for August in part because of higher refinery output, a spokesman for AAA said.
The motor club reports a national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline for Friday of $3.51, nearly 3 cents lower than one week ago and 12 cents cheaper year-on-year.
Early season prices had increased in part because of the Sunni-led insurgency in Iraq. On the domestic front, AAA spokesman Avery Ash said gasoline prices were lower in the United States because of the increased production and higher refinery output.
"Falling gas prices are nearly the opposite to what we usually see this time of year," he said in a statement Thursday. "Refineries are running at full tilt and there is more than enough gasoline in the market, which has helped bring down prices despite multiple overseas conflicts."
Ash said gas prices should continue to cost less than usual for this time of year so long as oil costs remain stable and refinery production remains strong.
July and August are typically the busiest driving months of the year. Gasoline prices have decreased in August in three of the past five years.
"The biggest threat to continued falling prices would be a major hurricane striking the U.S. Gulf Coast," Ash said. "Prices also could rise or remain flat if refineries cut back on production or if there are any major refinery outages."