STATE – The new year begins with the highest recorded gas prices at the start of January, a national average of $3.29 per gallon on New Year’s Day, according to AAA. By Friday, the national average had climbed to $3.30 per gallon, up two cents since one week ago but eight cents less than one month ago. The record price continues a streak of daily records that began on Aug. 20, 2012, according to AAA.
Gas prices are higher in New Jersey, with Friday’s average of $3.36 three cents higher than a week ago and 15 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA.
Despite the pricier start, AAA expects national gas prices in 2013 to average less than they did in 2012. Gas prices ended 2012 with an annual average of $3.60 per gallon – the highest on record and nine cents more expensive than the previous high of $3.51 in 2011.
“Record high gas prices made 2012 the most expensive year yet for motorists,” said Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Factors as volatile as major hurricanes, refinery outages and tension in the Middle East resulted in significant frustration for people filling up their cars. However, despite recent tensions surrounding ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations, AAA believes it is unlikely any short-term gas price increases would match those seen this time last year.”
Continued national and international economic concerns, weak demand and increased domestic crude oil production are likely to temper any seasonal price increase in the coming months.
AAA offers a Fuel Price Finder (AAA.com/fuelfinder) to help motorists locate the lowest fuel price in their area.