Consumer demand drops, gasoline prices trickle down

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AAA then pointed out that any savings from the increased fuel economy were more than offset by the much higher price for premium gas-according to AAA, the premium-grade gas often sells for 20-25% more than regular.

On Sunday, a tank in Rockford cost $2.42 per gallon, that compares to the national rate of $2.45. AAA said the growth in these fundamentals are bearish for longterm oil prices, which analysts from the Oil Price Information Service believe could soon see a significant drop back to $50 per barrel due to reduced global demand during the winter.

The local average was 23 cents per gallon lower than the national average of $2.47 per gallon. Gasoline supply has recovered due to the lower demand in the last two weeks, largely helping put downward pressure on retail gasoline prices.

"It's still important to remember that if your vehicle requires the use of premium gasoline, that you should still use it", said Jenkins.

After a comprehensive study over the past couple years, AAA says that by using premium, engine performance may be improved "in certain conditions", but overall, motorists were basically giving their money away buying the high-priced petrol instead of regular.

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Some 1.5 million cars and trucks were sold in the US a year ago that advise motorists to use premium gas. But that's just an average.

In some cars, usually luxury models, Premium fuel is actually required, not just recommended. Higher levels of octane allow engines to run at higher compression ratios without knocking.

Test vehicles included everything from a Mazda Miata two-seats sports auto with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to a Cadillac Escalade with a big 5, o-liter V8 motor.

Premium may boost horsepower for some engines, but likely not enough for most people to notice in normal driving. "AAA cautions drivers that premium gasoline is higher octane, not higher quality, and urges drivers to follow the owner's manual recommendations for their vehicle's fuel".

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