Although gas prices have remained relatively stable since the start of the year, AAA forecasts prices will rise as spring approaches. In fact, many discounters in Murfreesboro are unchanged at $2.96 per gallon for regular fuel. Pump prices are expected to peak around $3.75 this year, 5 cents less than 2013's peak of $3.79 a gallon.
Last year the national average increased 49 cents per gallon over 41 days, before it peaked at $3.79 per gallon on . Gas prices similarly increased 56 cents per gallon in spring 2012, and 86 cents per gallon in 2011.
"The bad news is gas prices could spike upwards of 50 cents this spring as refinery maintenance, increased demand, and a more expensive fuel blend push pump prices higher,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokesperson, The Auto Club Group. “The good news is 2014 gas prices are forecasts to be less than last year. A gallon of gas may reach $3.75 in some areas this year, but it's not expected to spike beyond $4 a gallon.”
Gas prices averaged $3.49 per gallon in 2013 and could average at least 5 cents per gallon less in 2014. Many refineries have increased capacity to take advantage of the recent boom in North American crude oil production, which can limit peak prices and volatility. Gas prices in 2012 were the most expensive on record at $3.60 per gallon, followed by 2011 with an annual average of $3.51 per gallon.
The national average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.28, the same as last week. Florida's average of $3.32 and Georgia’s average of $3.18 both fell 1 cent from last week. Tennessee’s average of $3.08 remains unchanged from last week. Many 'Boro petro discounters continue offering $2.96 prices, same as last week.