Christmas came early for millions of Americans hitting the road for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
AAA issued a fuel price report Friday, noting that gas prices, which are already at 2-year lows for this time of year, should drop even lower in the coming days. The news come after the price of oil and wholesale gasoline tumbled on Thursday.
"A holiday road trip will become even more affordable, as AAA forecasts another round of falling gas prices," said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. "Wholesale gasoline plummeted on Thursday, which will reduce the cost for retailers to buy and sell gasoline. Unless the market turns around, drivers should see gas prices fall another 5-15 cents, during their holiday road trips."
Gas prices in Georgia are 11 cents less than the average price on Christmas Day 2017. Although the state average is $2.16 per gallon, Georgia motorists are finding pump prices well below $2 a gallon at various filling stations throughout the state, according to the latest numbers from the auto club.
On average, Georgia drivers are paying $10 less for a full tank of gasoline, compared to when prices peaked last summer. During the past 10 weeks, pump prices plunged an average total of 64 cents. The state average could shed another 10 cents, before fully adjusting to recent crude price drops.
As reported earlier this month, AAA forecasts nearly 3 million Georgians will take a road trip between now and New Year's Day. An additional 120,000 drivers are expected on the road, compared to last year's holiday season. That does not include travelers from out-of-state.
Nationwide, the average price for gasoline is $2.35 per gallon and falling. Americans are paying $9 less for a full tank of gas, than they did when prices peaked in the summer. The national average has declined 13 cents this month, and a total of 55 cents since mid-October.
Jenkins said there are a number of factors driving the drop in prices:
- The global oil market is considered oversaturated, as crude production from the U.S. and many other countries have hovered near record-highs, outpacing demand
- There is uncertainty in the market about global economic growth, creating a bearish sentiment on fuel demand
- Futures prices were dragged lower by virtue of weakness in equity markets, after the Federal Reserve added a quarter point to the benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, and concerns of a government shutdown were renewed on Thursday
- Oil prices are the lowest since July 2017. The price for a barrel of WTI crude settled at $45.88 Thursday on the NYMEX
- Gasoline futures are at 2-year lows (September 2016). RBOB dropped 6 cents on Thursday, and is down 11 cents on the week.
- Wholesale gasoline prices dropped nearly 10 cents on Thursday