PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Drivers can expect some relief at the pump if they plan to hit the road this holiday week.
AAA reports gas prices continue to decline nationwide.
Arizona is one of the top 10 states with the most expensive gas, but prices are cheaper the week leading up to Christmas compared to last week.
As of December 21, 2021, Arizona saw a four cent drop in the statewide average from $3.73 last week to $3.69 per gallon now for regular unleaded. That’s above the nationwide average of $3.30.
However, Maricopa County’s prices are more expensive than the statewide average at $3.77. If you’re considering a trip to Flagstaff or other parts of the high country, might want to fill up in the Valley to save money. AAA data shows drivers can expect to pay at least 10 cents more in Coconino County. If you’re traveling to Tucson, it’s $3.51 a gallon, a 40 cent difference compared to the Phoenix-Metro area.
Why the drop in prices over the last month
Aldo Vazquez, spokesperson for AAA explained the COVID-19 Omicron variant has impact on the market.
“As we see a recovering economy and a strong employment, that is leading to an increase in demand for gasoline and this trend should typically signal gas prices are going to go higher, but because there has been this wobbly effect because of the crude oil, that’s actually putting a little bit of a downward pressure on gasoline and that’s one of the reasons we’re seeing gas prices trend a little bit lower than what we normally see,” said Vazquez.
How long is it supposed to last? The answer is vague.
“Last week, the price of crude oil did go over $70 per barrel. And if that trend continues, we’ll likely see pump prices trickle upwards again,” said Vazquez.
If you’re heading West to visit family and friends or take a holiday trip to California, according to AAA, the average price of gas is $4.66.
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