AAA: Gas prices lowest since 2016, expected to stay slightly lower than last year

January 10, 2019

Gas prices this January so far are the lowest since 2016, and government data suggests fuel prices in 2019 will be lower than last year.

“Motorists should expect low gas prices to linger through January, as gasoline demand is typically the lowest of the year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA-The Auto Club Group.

Gas prices in Georgia dropped another 3 cents last week, Jenkins said, and the state average has now declined a total of 74 cents since October.

In 2018, U.S. gas prices averaged $2.72 per gallon. AAA expects that average to land somewhere in the $2.50s this year.

“Although pump prices could become somewhat volatile this month, drivers will notice a significant increase in the spring, with the upward trend beginning as early as February,” He said. “Putting global supply and demand fluctuations aside, gas prices often rise 30-70 cents in the spring, as gasoline demand increases, refiners conduct seasonal maintenance and begin to switch to a more expensive-to-produce summer-blend gasoline. AAA expects pump prices to peak around $2.75 this year, but there is higher potential if a hurricane threatens gulf coast refineries, or there are sizable swings in fuel supplies or the economy.”

Compared to last Memorial Day, when the state average peaked at around $2.84, Georgia drivers are now saving an average of nearly $12 for a 15-gallon tank of gasoline.

In 2018, Georgia gas prices averaged $2.59 per gallon, for regular unleaded. Based on these figures, if a Georgia driver bought a 15-gallon tank of gas every week in 2018 they would’ve spent an average total of $2,020 on gasoline last year.

That total cost is $234 more than what they would’ve spent on gasoline in 2017.

Overall, AAA expects the national average to stay below last year’s high of $2.97, set just before Memorial Day.

The latest Short Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration has WTI crude averaging $54 per barrel in 2019. That’s $11 per barrel less than last year’s average. That $11 difference in oil prices suggests a 27.5 cent discount at the pump.

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