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January Gas Price Trends Indicate a More Expensive Year at the Pump 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.54, which is only one cent more than last week. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that while gasoline demand modestly decreased (146,000 b/d), gasoline inventory increased by 3.6 million bbl. Combined, these two factors resulted in minimal impact on the national average this week. On the week, gas prices increased for 41 states with Florida seeing the largest jump at the pump with a nine-cent increase.

“Consumers are accustomed to seeing gas prices dip in early January, however that is not the case this year," said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA.  "Nationwide, drivers are paying five cents more per gallon on average than on January 1 of this year, indicating that 2018 may bring higher gas prices compared to the prior year."

Today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 58 percent of gas stations nationwide.




Change Since Friday

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Quick Stats

  • The largest yearly changes in the top ten markets are: California (+39 cents), Indiana (+37 cents), Michigan (+32 cents), Alaska (+30 cents), Oregon (+28 cents), Hawaii (+28 cents), Montana (+28 cents), Ohio (+27 cents), Illinois (+25 cents) and Tennessee (+25 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.29), Missouri ($2.30), Alabama ($2.30), Mississippi ($2.31), South Carolina ($2.32), Arkansas ($2.32), Arizona ($2.34), New Mexico ($2.35), Oklahoma ($2.35) and Tennessee ($2.36).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

While gas prices are as much as five cents more expensive on the week in the region (Washington, D.C. and North Carolina), they are 17-25 cents more than a year ago. However, despite a double-digit year-over-year increase, a handful of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states land on the top 10 states with the smallest year-over-year increase: New York (+17 cents), Maine (+17 cents) and Delaware (+18 cents). States with the largest year-over-year increases in the region: Tennessee (+25 cents), Massachusetts (+25 cents), Rhode Island (+24 cents), Maryland (+24 cents) and Kentucky (+24 cents).

After a substantial build the week prior, this week the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region had a nearly 500,000 bbl draw on gasoline inventory. The 53 million bbl in total is typical for this time of year. 

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped 58 cents to settle at $63.37. Oil prices slid after EIA’s latest petroleum report underscored that domestic crude production in the U.S. continues to grow. On the week, U.S. crude production increased by 258,000 b/d to 9.750 million b/d. Market observers are looking for indications that growth in the global crude market has slowed, but the U.S. has bucked that trend. In fact, U.S. producers are seizing the higher petroleum prices to grow global market share – evidenced by crude exports growing to 1.25 million b/d last week. That figure is up from the rate last year at this time, which stood at 704,000 b/d. This growth potentially stalls efforts by OPEC and major crude producers to rebalance the market (by cutting production through the end of 2018). However, market observers who are looking for indications that the crude market may tighten in the coming months were glad to see the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. declined by five last week. The total number of rigs now stands at 747.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at


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