Tennessee's per-gallon gas price average decreases for first time since mid-January

The average per-gallon price of regular gas in Tennessee was $3.58 as of yesterday, a decrease of five cents compared to the figure from the previous week, according to AAA.

This marks the first time since January that the weekly average for a gallon of gas, both statewide and throughout the country, has retreated. Gas prices steadily climbed from mid-January until this past week, breaking records and making February’s national average of $3.65 the highest in history.

As of Sunday, the national average price was $3.75, a three-cent per-gallon decrease. More specifically, and to compare to Tennessee, Georgia’s per-gallon average of $3.71 decreased six cents.

In Nashville, the average per-gallon price of regular gas was 3.61 as of Sunday, a drop of four cents compared to the figure from the previous week. (See chart below.)

Currently, oil prices stand at $90.68 a barrel, $2.45 less than the mark from the week prior, AAA reports.

Oil prices also fell last week after reports of poor manufacturing data in China and Europe created concern of a decrease in global fuel demand, according to AAA.

The value of the dollar also increased against foreign currencies and helped push oil prices lower. In addition, the Energy Information Administration reported U.S. crude inventories rose more than a million barrels last week.

"We’re starting to see the inflated price of oil and gas drop to more appropriate levels given the economic circumstances," Jessica Brady, spokeswoman, AAA-The Auto Club Group, said in a release. "This is the first week since January that gas prices have decreased. Hopefully this trend continues throughout March. However, March is the peak time for refinery maintenance to occur which could keep upward pressure on gas prices.

“Motorists should see gas prices ease back a little more this week,” Brady added.