January 9, 2013
AAA is predicting lower gas prices for the year compared to 2012.
The price of gas peaked at $3.94 last year, and the average price reached $3.60 a gallon.
This year AAA is expecting the national average price for to peak between $3.60 and $3.80.
AAA points to an increase in domestic oil production and lower demand by motorists as the reason for the lower costs.
Gasoline prices should rise steadily through April or early May, but at a slower pace than last year. Following a late-spring peak, prices should drop during the first half of the summer to as low as $3.20-$3.40 per gallon before rising again in advance of the Gulf Coast hurricane season and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline. Prices should end the year by falling to low or near-low averages for 2013.
“Absent significant storms, majors wars or production and distribution outages, the single largest factor that will influence gasoline prices in 2013 will be the strength of the U.S. economy,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Stronger than expected growth in the economy would result in higher oil and gasoline prices in anticipation of higher consumption, while a weaker than expected economy would drive prices downwards.”
Today’s national average price of gasoline is $3.30 per gallon, which is seven cents less than last year and four cents less than a month ago. Virginia’s average price is $3.27 per gallon.