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AAA: Gas prices jump to kick off 2018

January 04, 2018 - 11:00 am

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Prices at the pump are kicking off 2018 a little higher, according to AAA Texas' Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline in the Austin metro area is $2.23, up five cents from last week's average of $2.18. The average is up ten cents over prices from a year ago.

Statewide, the average jumped three cents to $2.24. That marks an eight cent increase over a year ago. Nationally, the average is $2.49 a gallon - also up three cents on the week. The national average is the highest to start the year since 2014, when gas prices were above the $3/gallon mark. Holiday travel resulted in increases at pumps across the country, especially in the Northeast, South, and upper Midwest where drivers are seeing pump prices as much as 13 cents more expensive than last week.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $2.50, while drivers in San Antonio are paying the least at $2.17 per gallon.

Almost every metropolitan area surveyed across Texas saw gas price averages increase over last week. The Sherman-Denison area saw the largest increase on the week, with regular unleaded prices going up by an average of seven cents per gallon. The only metropolitan surveyed in Texas to see a decrease was the El Paso area, where the average price dropped two cents per gallon on the week. Midland, Odessa, Laredo and Victoria saw no change from last week.

When comparing this week’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded to the same date in 2017, Dallas ranks the closest of any area surveyed in Texas. Drivers in Dallas are paying on average one cent more per gallon than they did on this day one year ago. Meanwhile, drivers in some markets are still paying much higher than at this time last year. The price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Midland remains 31 cents above the January 4, 2017 average.

"Now that the holidays are behind us, market analysts anticipate demand for retail gasoline to drop in the coming days which could send prices down this month," said Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas. Gas prices in the South and Southeast remain among the cheapest in the country even with pump prices jumping in every state on the week except New Mexico, where prices fell by one cent.

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