AAA says that multiple factors pushed the price for a barrel of oil to more than $100 last week. As a result, retail gas prices will likely move higher this week and into the New Year.
Oil prices jumped to $100 for the first time in two months after a government report showed supplies for oil, gasoline, and heating oil fell as demand increased. Crude inventories decreased by 4.8 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. At the same time, U.S. refineries are operating at 93 percent capacity, the most since July. The value of the euro gained 1.5 percent on the dollar, increasing the appeal of crude oil as a commodity and helped to push prices higher.
"There's a lot of upward momentum on oil prices right now and it's expected to continue into January," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokesperson, The Auto Club Group. "The jump in crude prices means more expensive gasoline. The increased demand is taken as a sign the economy is improving and fuels optimism that the growth will continue in the new year. Motorists will see gas prices increase for the next few weeks, before relief is in sight."
The national average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.31, 7 cents more than last week. Florida's average of $3.39 and Georgia's average of $3.21 both increased 3 cents from last week. Tennessee's average of $3.11 rose 5 cents.
To find out more about fuel prices across the country, visit AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report to find national, state, and local metro market retail gasoline prices.