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Gas prices point lower for now, AAA says

Staff Report • Mar 5, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Though gas prices rose last week, as expected, AAA now predicts prices at the pump could slide again this week.

Tennessee gas prices increased 2 cents last week before declining a penny over the weekend, AAA reported. The state average of $2.32 is 11 cents less than a month ago, yet motorists are still paying 25 cents more per gallon than this time last year.

“Gas prices are usually volatile during the spring, with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, in a press release. “Wholesale gasoline prices lowered late last week, which should allow retail to do the same.

“While motorists could see gas prices drift a few cents lower in the short term, they should expect more surprises this spring. In total, pump prices could rise 20-30 cents before the summer, as refineries work through scheduled maintenance and prepare for the switch to summer-blend gasoline.”

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Jackson ($2.37)

• Nashville ($2.35)

• Memphis ($2.34)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Cleveland ($2.25)

• Chattanooga ($2.25)

• Knoxville ($2.30)

Largest price increases over the last week

• Morristown (5 cents)

• Clarksville-Hopkinsville (4 cents)

• Knoxville (4 cents)

A look ahead

Motorists will start to see gas prices make their spring spike in early April; that's when refinery maintenance is expected to be wrapped up and the switchover to more expensive summer-blend gasoline kicks in, along with warmer weather and typical demand increases. Consumers can expect prices to increase throughout April, May and into the start of summer, AAA reported.

AAA expects summer gas prices to be just as expensive as spring prices, but they may not increase at such a quick rate. A variety of factors, including U.S. gasoline supply-demand levels, domestic gasoline production rates and global crude demand, will help better shape the summer forecast.

To view daily gas price averages, visit GasPrices.AAA.com.

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