2013 starts with highest average gas prices
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- If you thought you have noticed gas prices creeping back up at the pump, your eyes have not deceived you.
The national average for regular retail gasoline on January 1 held the record for the highest average in history to start a new year. The national average on New Year's day was $3.29, 1 cent more than the daily average on January 1, 2012, which held the previous record.
Oil prices increased slightly last week after U.S. payrolls rose by 155,000 in December, more than the initial forecast of 152,000. The nation's unemployment held strong at 7.8 percent the lowest level since 2008.
However, gasoline stockpiles increased again, this time by 2.6 million barrels in the last week of December, more than expected.
"Oil prices will likely remain between $90 and $95 a barrel in January, with gas prices inching up again this week," said AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady. "Although the average for the start of January was the highest on record, the Energy Information Administration forecasts the annual average this year will be less than 2012's annual average of $3.60."
A barrel of oil closed Friday at $93.09 on the New York Mercantile Exchange -— $2.29 more than the week prior.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.30, 1 cent more than last week. Georgia's average of $3.32 rose 7 cents, and Tennessee's average of $3.18 increased 6 cents from last week, respectively.
In the Chattanooga area, gas prices Monday morning averaged $3.15, 8 cents higher than last week.