Gas prices continued their declines into a second week this week as millions more college and university students hit the road for Spring Break, with the largest number of vacationers taking off from major universities during this week and the next two weeks. According to the weekly survey from the Energy Information Administration, the average price of a gallon of gas dropped by about a nickel, but the declines were much higher across the Midwest, where winter prices had suffered their greatest increases during January and February. Only the U.S. West Coast suffered a hike in prices, with average per-gallon costs for gasoline driving upward by about a penny.
The weekly declines mark the second time prices have gone down in as many weeks, and declines have now reached the point that prices, overall, are down from last year at this time. Year over year fuel costs have dropped by as much as 19-cents per gallon in some spots, with the average March gas price being about 12-cents per gallon this year, versus the same week in 2012.
Diesel fuel costs also continued their weekly downward trend, although the declines were not as steep as gas prices. Average prices-per-gallon for diesel dropped by about four-cents nationwide, while across New England down to the Carolinas the average price was down about six-cents per gallon.
Like gasoline, diesel prices are now less than they were at this time last year, although the greatest year-over-year decline were to be found on the West Coast, where prices were down over 19-cents per gallon, versus the same survey period in 2012.
Still, the declines in gas prices are not yet enough to make up for the Winter pricing hikes that drivers suffered during January and February. Overall, average U.S. prices for a gallon of gas are up about 40-cents per gallon since the beginning of 2013.