WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Falling crude oil prices, driven in part by weak global economic growth, means gas prices should keep moving lower for U.S. motorists, analysts said.
Motor club AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded at $2.20 per gallon for Tuesday, about 2.1 percent less than one week ago and 28 percent, or about 85 cents, less than this date in 2014.
Lower crude oil prices, falling since late 2014, has translated to a general decline in retail gasoline prices for motorists. Brent, the global benchmark price, traded early Tuesday at $47.24 per barrel, about 45 percent less than one year ago.
Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst for consumer price watcher GasBuddy.com, reported a slowing Chinese economy and weak growth in the United States should keep crude oil prices lower, which could translate to net beneifts for most consumers.
"The market fundamentals appear to be moving favorably for U.S. motorists," he said in an emailed statement.
AAA, for its part, said there's a bearish sentiment on crude oil prices. A decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, and consequently increase the value of the U.S. dollar, could push crude oil prices even lower.
In its weekly market report, AAA said falling crude oil prices and a build in supplies at domestic refineries have pushed prices at the pump lower for the past 18 days in a row. While regional markets that normally experience volatility, like the Great Lakes states, may see spikes, ample supplies on the domestic market means prices should continue to move lower through the rest of the year.
"Market fundamentals continue to suggest that the national average could fall below the $2 per gallon benchmark before the end of the year for the first time since 2009, barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply or unforeseen jumps in the price of crude oil," AAA's report read.
Eight states already report an average price below the $2 per gallon mark.