Gas price expected to decrease through January

Gas prices have fallen to the lowest that Georgia has seen in a year, and more decreases are expected despite the approaching Christmas holidays.

On Thursday, the average price for regular unleaded gasoline sat at $3.20 – just 2 cents higher than the average price one year ago.

“Both oil and gas prices are forecast to decrease again this week on the expectation demand will continue to fall from last year’s levels as supplies climb,” AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady said.

Decreases are expected to continue through January with regular unleaded prices falling under $3. Prices have already fallen more than 20 cents from one month ago and 50 cents since October.

Analysts attribute the most recent drop to the value of the dollar increasing against the euro after the Labor Department announced that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in November and Germany cut its economic growth outlook for 2013.

Although the drop in prices is good news for holiday travelers, the year is still expected to have the most expensive average gas price on record, according to AAA data. With just more than two weeks left in the year, the average to-date price is $3.62, or 11 cents higher than the record set in 2011.

AAA estimates that 93.3 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more during the upcoming holiday period, Dec. 22 to Jan. 1.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX DOWN

A steep drop in gasoline costs pushed down a measure of U.S. consumer prices last month, keeping inflation mild.

The seasonally adjusted consumer price index dropped 0.3 percent in November from October, the Labor Department said Friday. Gas prices fell 7.4 percent, the biggest drop in nearly four years. That offset a 0.2 percent rise in food prices.

In the past year, consumer prices have risen 1.8 percent, down from October’s 12-month increase of 2.2 percent.

Excluding the volatile food and gas categories, prices ticked up 0.1 percent in November. Core prices have risen 1.9 percent in the past year – below the Federal Reserve’s annual target of 2 percent.

– Associated Press

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