While the national average price for gas has declined over the past few weeks, it has remained historically high. Last week, the average price for a gallon of regular gas dipped to $3.43, but that’s 6 cents higher than this time last year, ABC News noted.
Still, the national average has plunged almost 30 cents over the past four weeks, according to analysts. Gas prices typically slide during the fall as cooler temperatures discourage driving.
The end of summer also sees an easing of federal emissions standards, allowing for greater levels of butane in gasoline, further lowering the price. Analysts said gas prices were unlikely to decline any more before the end of the year.
Gas prices have fallen in most parts of the country, except the Midwest, where they edged up 1 cent last week. Prices remain even higher — around $4 a gallon — in areas of the Northeast still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
Relatively high holiday gas prices provided mixed support for gas retailers. Shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) slipped fractionally in Tuesday morning trading, while Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), Valero (NYSE:VLO) and BP (NYSE:BP) rose modestly.