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Gas prices point lower, for now

March 5, 2018--12:47 p.m.


Gas prices moved higher last week, as was forecast by AAA. However, prices at the pump are beginning to trend lower yet again.

Georgia gas prices increased 6 cents last week, before declining a penny during the weekend. The state average of $2.43 is 5 cents more than last week. Compared to this time last year, motorists are paying 22 cents per gallon, or $3 more for a full tank of gasoline.

"Gas prices are usually volatile during the spring, with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Wholesale gasoline prices lowered late last week, which should allow retail to do the same. While motorists could see gas prices drift a few cents lower in the short term, they should expect more surprises this spring. In total, pump prices could rise 20-30 cents before the summer, as refineries work through scheduled maintenance and prepare for the switch to summer-blend gasoline." 

Motorists will start to see gas prices make their spring spike in early April. That's when refinery maintenance is expected to be wrapped up and the switchover to more expensive summer-blend gasoline kicks in along with warmer weather and typical demand increases. Consumers can expect prices to increase throughout April, May and into the start of summer.

AAA expects summer gas prices to be just as expensive as spring prices, but with the potential that they may not increase at such a quick rate. Heading into summer, a variety of factors including U.S. gasoline supply-demand levels, domestic gasoline production rates, and global crude demand will help better shape the summer forecast.