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Gas prices expected to fall this week

Staff Report • Aug 7, 2018 at 10:40 AM

After a slight jump in prices at the pump last week, gas prices are now on a downward slide.

Gas prices in Tennessee increased 4 cents last week, according to AAA. Sunday's state average of $2.65 is 4 cents more than a month ago and 51 cents more than last year.

Summer trends

Pump prices in July averaged $2.61 per gallon, which is the highest monthly average for July since 2014. Summer gas prices are poised to be the most expensive in four years, AAA reported.

Since June 1, Tennessee gas prices averaged $2.63 per gallon, which is 55 cents more than the average price last summer.

“Prices at the pump have pinballed around this summer but fortunately have remained within a 20-cent range,” Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, said in a press release. “The limited swings in pump prices and a strong economy have led to one of the biggest driving summers in history.

“Prices should slip lower this week due to falling futures prices on the stock market. However, demand historically remains strong through August, which should prevent prices from slipping anywhere near the lows we saw last year."

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Jackson ($2.69)

• Nashville ($2.69)

• Memphis ($2.66)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Chattanooga ($2.58)

• Johnson City ($2.58)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($2.58)

Supply and demand

Data released Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration showed signs that the summer driving season remains in full throttle.

Weekly gasoline demand numbers reached near-record highs. That strong demand has cut deeply into supply levels, which declined five consecutive weeks for a total decline of nearly five percent, AAA reported.

As demand surges, refineries are working hard to keep up. Gasoline production for the week ending July 27 was 2 percent stronger than a year ago and the fifth-highest weekly rate in history; the highest was the week of Independence Day 2018.

Crude production remains about 16.3 percent stronger than last year, according to AAA. Although oil inventories increased nearly 1 percent, supplies remain 15 percent below last year.

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

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