Courtesy photo

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A run of 56 decreases in 57 days that dropped the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Riverside County to its lowest amount since Sept. 1, 2016, ended today when the price was unchanged.

The average price dropped 80.3 cents during the run, including three-tenths of a cent on Thursday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. The average price dropped 53 consecutive days, rose six-tenths of a cent on Monday, then resumed decreasing on Tuesday.

The average price of $2.663 is 2 cents less than one week ago, 29.8 cents lower than one month ago and $1.396 below what it was one year ago. It has decreased 84.5 cents since the start of the year.

The 2016 average included stations in San Bernardino County.

“The Energy Information Administration noted that gasoline inventories dropped by a significant 3.7 million gallons in the past week, which means there is more driving occurring than in prior weeks,” said Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.

“Prices are still declining, but if demand continues at this higher pace, we may be nearing the bottom of the price curve.”

The dropping prices are the result of a sharp decrease in demand as people reduced driving because of stay-at-home orders and higher unemployment stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, which caused gasoline inventories to increase, according to Spring.

The sharp drop in oil prices caused by a decrease in demand connected to the global economic downturn, a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and fears of global crude storage hitting capacity are additional reasons for the lower gas prices.

The crude oil price and supply and demand are the most important factors in the gas price.