Gasoline prices in the U.S. hold near seven-year highs as the summer driving season nears an end.
Regular gasoline averaged $3.187 per gallon nationally on Monday, according to AAA. Prices were $3.19 a gallon a week ago, the highest in seven years.
"U.S. gasoline demand is going to stay relatively strong," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group. "The economy is still doing pretty good. Seasonally, of course, we start to see demand trail off as kids get back into school."
Gasoline demand fell to 9.43 million barrels per day last week, down from 9.78 million the week prior. Weaker demand has weighed on the price of crude oil with West Texas Intermediate down $7.30 per barrel from its July 30 close.
Softening demand and a drop in crude prices have helped alleviate upward pressure on gasoline prices. The average price per gallon of regular gasoline has climbed $1.01 over the past year.
California ($4.406), Hawaii ($4.085) and Nevada ($4.058) were the three states where regular gasoline averaged more than $4 per gallon. Fifteen states, including Mississippi ($2.792), Louisiana ($2.837) and Texas ($2.845), saw regular prices hold below $3 per gallon.
"Gasoline prices look like they're going to be stubbornly high for some time to come," Flynn said.