Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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January 10, 2013

AAA predicts lower gas prices in 2013

AAA Fuel Guage Report — This week the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.30. As recently as Dec. 20, the nationwide average stood at $3.22.

However, after setting new all-time daily records for each calendar day since Aug. 20, the price this past weekend fell below the year-ago national average.

In Tulsa, the average price for regular gasoline jumped eight cents overnight to $2.912, although in Oklahoma City, citywide price averages are falling, down two-tenths of a cent in the last 24 hours.

According to FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com, motorists in six states (Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Idaho and Oklahoma) currently pay less than $3.00 per gallon at the pump.

Oklahoma’s average is sixth-lowest of all the states.

Utah is the country’s price leader at $2.90. The average price in Texas today is 18 cents above Oklahoma’s. Only drivers in Hawaii pay more than $4.00 per gallon.

The highest average prices in the continental United States are found in California and in the Northeast.

Gasoline prices this year will be less expensive than in 2012 as a result of increased domestic oil production and lower demand, according to AAA.

The national average price of gasoline should peak at $3.60-$3.80 per gallon barring any significant unanticipated events, which compares to a peak of $3.94 a gallon in 2012.

Gasoline prices should rise steadily through April or early May, but at a slower pace than last year. Following a late-spring peak, national price averages 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, major 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.

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.

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