Weak U.S. economic reports Friday followed on the heels of reduced forecasts for oil demand. Oil dropped 2 percent. The falling prices will help extend a long, slow slide in retail gasoline prices, forecasters say. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. fell a penny over the weekend to $3.56 per gallon. That’s 23 cents lower than the high for the year, set on Feb. 27. And gas is now 36 cents cheaper than a year ago at this time. Gasoline prices appear to be on a similar curve to last year, but on an earlier timetable. The springtime highs instead came in late winter, and a seasonal low could come in June this year instead of July. “It’s the same roller-coaster ride, but the top of the ride came sooner,” Kloza said.
U.S. oil futures fell $2.22, or 2.4 percent, to $91.29 in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price oil used by many U.S. refiners to make gasoline, fell $1.34 to $103.04, the lowest level since mid-July. Supplies of both oil and gasoline are plentiful, and demand appears to be weak.