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High gas prices may crimp holiday spending, AAA finds

25 October 2017

In Illinois, the average gas prices was $2.54 on Tuesday, with the cheapest gas being in Paris, Illinois, at $1.96 a gallon. The national average decreased 12 cents per gallon during the last month and stood 22.2 cents per gallon higher than previous year. That, coupled with Hurricane Irma's mass evacuations that caused demand to spike across Florida, pushed the state average to a three-year high of $2.73 in mid-September.

The average retail price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States has been on a steady decline for most markets through October, following seasonal trends.

The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded on Monday in the two-county region was $2.36, down 5 cents in the past week but about 12 cents above the pre-Harvey average, according to AAA's daily fuel tracker.

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"While the national average [price for gas] may drift slightly lower in the week ahead, higher oil prices may soon put a stop to the streak", the report read.

The national average has only dropped 1.6 cents in the last week.

"There's more room to come down", said AAA Florida spokesman Mark Jenkins.

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Drivers in Columbia are paying an average $2.20 a gallon. In nearby San Bernardino and Riverside, prices dropped to $2.94 per gallon and $2.97 per gallon respectively. Then prices shoot back up to match the rest of the state. Wholesale prices in the Great Lakes are 20 cents higher than along the Gulf Coast, where they are lowest, DeHaan said.

But prices might keep heading downward a little longer, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, a price-tracking website that monitors 147 gas stations here.

Taking a longer view, DeHaan noted that even with Harvey's impact, gas prices have stayed below $3.00 a gallon for almost three years.

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“Barring significant changes to the current climate, AAA projects that fuel prices will continue to fall in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, ” Conde said.

High gas prices may crimp holiday spending, AAA finds