AAA reported a national average Monday of $3.61 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That's 14 cents higher than one month ago but four-tenths of a penny less than the national average price reported for the same time last year by AAA.
The U.S. Energy Department said last week most parts of the United States witnessed a decline in gasoline prices. Early season refinery issues in the Chicago region pushed the national average close to the $4 per gallon mark.
Chicago still had some of the highest prices in the nation with $4.13 for an average Monday, though that was 24 cents less than reported by AAA the same time last year.
AAA reported last week the price decline was most dramatic for Midwestern states, with prices falling by at least 5 cents. The motor club said it expected gasoline prices would elevate through the summer because of high demand, refinery glitches, the onset of the hurricane season and high oil prices.
The U.S. Energy Department said it expects gasoline prices to average approximately $3.50 per gallon for the season.