After a steady decline since November, retail gas prices have inched back up as 2012 comes to an end. Most local retailers are pumping regular gas for $2.96 per gallon. However, there were several in the $2.85 to $2.89 range. This "inching up at the end of the year" is a trend that has happened for the past two years.
Aside from the slight increase in pump prices from last week, 2012’s annual average is a record-breaking year. So far, this year’s average for a gallon of regular retail gasoline is $3.61, 10 cents more than the annual average in 2011. Price trends were also off from the norm this year, with gas prices peaking in April and hitting bottom during the first week of July.
"Gas prices are doing exactly what was expected, closing out the year on an upswing,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "Motorists could very likely see pump prices increase into mid January before starting to retreat again. This year, much like 2011, was a volatile year for both oil and gas prices with some unexpected trends. Next year could be very similar in terms of volatility and unconventional trends.”
A barrel of oil is currently trading around $90 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.25, 2 cents more than last week. Florida’s average of $3.29, Georgia’s average of $3.19, and Tennessee’s average of $3.07 all increased 4 cents from last week, respectively.