Gasoline prices kicked off the new year at their highest amount in four years, according to the latest AAA report released Wednesday.
The January 1 average of $2.35 per gallon was a dime more than the year before. Wednesday's average price in Georgia of $2.53 is seven cents more than a week ago and nine cents more than the same day in 2017.
"After a quick jump at the pump last week, prices are relatively stable right now across the southeastern U.S., and should begin to take a downward turn soon," Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group said. "Gas prices normally decline during January and February, as gasoline demand hits the lowest levels of the year."
The most expensive gas price averages in the state are in Brunswick at $2.41, Savannah at $2.38 and Atlanta coming in at $2.38.
The least expensive averages in Georgia are $2.26 a gallon in Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties. Average prices in Rome and Warner Robins were also $2.26, according to AAA.
"The pump-price plunge has faced resistance from oil prices which have been trading at 2-year highs. Oil analysts believe the oil market is somewhat inflated due to geopolitical tensions and supply concerns, but prices should decline soon," Jenkins added.
Although he predicted the short-term drop, the Energy Information Administration expects U.S. gas prices to average $2.51 in 2018, 12 cents more than the annual average in 2017. The EIA also projects oil prices will average $52.77 per barrel, nearly $2 more than last year's average.
GasBuddy.com presented its numbers for the week on Tuesday. Also this week, the company released its 2018 Fuel Outlook with a prediction that gas prices in the U.S. will be the highest since 2014.