Gas prices ticked up a fraction of a penny Thursday, ending a 33-day streak of declines at the pump, but the news on the fuel front for motorists was otherwise positive during the month of July. AAA said the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded fell 16 cents during the month to $3.52 on Thursday, the largest July decline in six years. Motorists are now paying the lowest prices for gas since mid-March. Moreover, domestic refineries processed a record amount of crude oil during July, averaging 16.5 million barrels a day, and the boost to the gas supply helped push down pump prices at a time of year when they usually go up.
"Falling gas prices are nearly the opposite to what we usually see this time of year," AAA spokesman Avery Ash said in a statement. "Refineries are running at full tilt, and there is more than enough gasoline in the market, which has helped bring down prices despite multiple overseas conflicts."