AAA: Gas prices stabilizing after days of upward movement

gas pricesGas prices across the Mid-Atlantic region have stayed relatively static this week, in some areas rising or falling by just a penny or so.

Monday’s national average of $2.37 per gallon was the most expensive average since June 2016 but has dropped three cents since then. Today’s national average of $2.34 is three cents lower per gallon on the week, 11 cents higher on the month and 41 cents higher than this date last year.

“We are seeing a stabilization of gas prices across the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Demand for gasoline has eased following the holiday driving period and the cost of crude has remained relatively flat.”

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil closed down $1.62 over last week to settle at $52.37 per barrel. After settling at its lowest level in a month on Tuesday, crude oil prices saw a 2.5 percent jump on Wednesday, the biggest daily gain in more than a month.  The commodity was lifted by a weakened U.S. dollar.

Looking ahead to 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration anticipates WTI crude oil will average $52 per barrel in 2017, and as a result gas prices are expected to average $2.31 per gallon in the first quarter of 2017.  U.S. regular gasoline is forecast to average $2.38 per gallon in 2017.  Much will depend on OPEC members complying with agreed-upon production cuts.

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