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Gas prices cheaper than 1960 levels after adjusting for inflation

But the coronavirus-related decline appears to have stabilized

Photo (c) stefanamer - Getty Images
With shutdown orders still in place in most of the country the price of gasoline continued to fall, but it may have reached a bottom, at least for now.

The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey shows the national average price of regular is $1.77 a gallon, just penny less than a week ago. The average price of premium gas is two cents less than last week -- $2.41 a gallon. The average price of diesel fuel is $2.44 a gallon, down another four cents in the last seven days.

How do today’s falling gas prices compare to the “good old days” of the 1960s? Better than you might think.

Adjusted for inflation, today’s price of regular gasoline is 93 cents a gallon cheaper that it was 60 years ago, in 1960. That year’s average price of 31 cents a gallon is the equivalent of $2.70 in 2020 dollars.

Prices have continued to slide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as demand for gasoline and the price of oil have both crashed. But the price decline this week was offset by sizable increases in a handful of states.

Wisconsin still has the cheapest gas in the nation, but its average price jumped 11 cents a gallon in the last week. Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said 66 straight days of price declines ended Thursday as the national average price rose by a penny a gallon, though still lower than a week ago.

The states with the most expensive regular gas

These states currently have the highest prices for regular gas, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Survey:

  • Hawaii ($3.20)

  • California ($2.74)

  • Washington ($2.44)

  • Oregon ($2.39) 

  • Nevada ($2.31)

  • New York ($2.16)

  • Arizona ($2.11)

  •  Pennsylvania ($2.03)

  • Alaska ($2.02)

  • Utah ($2.01)

The states with the cheapest regular gas

The survey found these states currently have the lowest prices for regular gas:

  • Wisconsin ($1.30)

  • Oklahoma ($1.37)

  • Arkansas ($1.41)

  • Missouri ($1.44)

  • Ohio ($1.45)

  • Michigan ($1.45)

  • Kentucky ($1.45)

  • Iowa ($1.48)

  • Mississippi ($1.48)

  • Kansas ($1.48)

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