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Prices at the gas pump are finally easing up, driven by the sudden rise in coronavirus cases coupled with OPEC's increase in oil production, according to an industry expert.
The nation's average gas price is about $3.14 per gallon, down 2.9 cents per gallon from last week, according to data from GasBuddy, which analyzes more than 150,000 gas stations across the country.
The price of diesel also dropped over the past week, falling 0.7 cents to about $3.26 per gallon, according to the data.
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"With oil prices struggling under the weight of a rise in new Covid cases thanks to the delta variant and OPEC's increase in oil production, average gas prices in most states finally drifted lower," said GasBuddy head petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan.
Although some relief is on the horizon, the national average is still 4.7 cents higher than it was a month ago and 97.2 cents higher compared to a year ago, according to the data.
Additionally, De Haan noted that "we aren't yet in the clear" due to the fact that gasoline demand surged "to a new 2021 high, besting the week prior to the July 4 holiday."
Nationwide, weekly gasoline demand rose 2.3% from a week ago and 3.1% when compared to the four-week average.
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This means "motorists aren't slowing their appetite for hitting the road just yet." If this demand remains strong, prices could get another boost, De Haan said.
So although motorists are getting a "brief respite at the pump" they should prepare for what De Haan says could be a "bumpy finish to summer."
Drivers looking for the cheapest prices should head south. Currently, Mississippi ($2.76), Louisiana ($2.77) and Texas ($2.78) have the cheapest prices in the country, according to GasBuddy.
Meanwhile, motorists may want to avoid refueling in California, Hawaii and Nevada which have the highest prices to date at $4.32, $4 and $3.92, respectively.
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