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AAA: Year-end pump prices to be most expensive since 2014

By Eric Reinhardt


AAA expects drivers will pay the highest November and December gas prices since 2014, according to a new report the organization released on Monday. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

Drivers won’t find “significant” holiday savings at the gas pump this December.

Even though the AAA expects gas prices to decline between now and the end of the year, it also expects drivers will pay the highest November and December gas prices since 2014.

That’s according to a report the organization released Monday.

The national gas-price average is $2.51 as of Monday, or 38 cents more than this time in 2016, the AAA said.

“Despite a forecasted 5 to 20 cents decrease in coming weeks, motorists will see higher than expected December gas prices - especially compared to year-end prices from 2015 and 2016,” Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations, AAA of Western and Central New York, said in the release. “Driving factors for cheaper gas prices this winter include colder temperatures, the threat of inclement weather and online shopping.”

Gas prices in 2017 have “strayed from typical trends,” the AAA said.

Historically, year-end gas prices “tend to be relatively cheap” due to a drop-off in fall gasoline demand around Labor Day and the move to “cheaper to produce” winter-blend gasoline in mid-September. This year, the typical factors that drive gas prices down in winter were “outweighed” by the adverse impact of two major hurricanes, “steady” consumer demand, and “continued growth” in gasoline exports.

Describing itself as upstate New York’s “largest” member-services organization, AAA provides nearly 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services, according to its news release.

2018 look ahead

Drivers can expect gas prices to continue to trend lower in the first few months of 2018, with potential to see the national gas price average in the $2.25 to $2.35 range by February, the AAA said.

OPEC’s Nov. 30 meeting and any decisions to further cut or keep production rates stable will “influence” longer-term forecasts for 2018. OPEC is short for the Vienna, Austria–based Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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