WILKES-BARRE — It looks like it’s going to cost motorists a bit more to fuel their personal shopping sleighs this holiday season than in recent years — there will be no significant savings at the gas pump.
AAA Mid-Atlantic reports that in the Wilkes-Barre region, gas prices are 34 cents higher than this time last year.
Monday’s national gas price average was $2.51 per gallon, which is 38 cents more than this time last year. While AAA does expect gas prices to decline between now and the end of the year, motorists will still be paying the highest November and December gas prices since 2014.
“Despite a forecasted five to 20 cent decrease in the coming weeks, motorists will see higher than expected December gas prices, especially compared to year-end prices from 2015 and 2016,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Driving factors for cheaper gas prices this winter include colder temperatures, the threat of inclement weather and online shopping.”
In 2017, Tidwell said gas prices have strayed from typical trends. Historically, she said year-end gas prices tend to be relatively cheap due to a drop-off in fall gasoline demand around Labor Day and the move to cheaper to produce winter-blend gasoline in mid-September.
This year, however, Tidwell said the typical factors that drive gas prices down in winter were outweighed by the impact of two major hurricanes, steady consumer demand and continued growth in gasoline exports.
Look Ahead to 2018
AAA reports that motorists can expect gas prices to continue to trend cheaper the first few months of 2018, with potential to see the national gas price average in the $2.25 to $2.35 range by February.