Automobile club AAA is predicting that after a traditional spring bump, gasoline prices this year will be less expensive than in 2012.
Increased domestic oil production and lower demand is leading AAA to project the national average price of gasoline should peak at $3.60-$3.80 per gallon barring any significant unanticipated events, which compares to a peak of $3.94 a gallon last year, according to a news release.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett is $3.46, one cent higher than it was in December.
Statewide, a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.398, while diesel fuel is $3.987 per gallon on average.
Gasoline prices should rise steadily through April or early May, but at a slower pace than last year. As is typical for this time of year, prices will rise as a result of seasonal demand increases and in anticipation of the switchover to more expensive summer-blend gasoline. Prices should drop during the first half of the summer to as low as $3.20-$3.40 per gallon before rising again in advance of the Gulf Coast hurricane season and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline. Prices should end the year by falling to low or near-low averages for 2013.
The annual average price of gasoline in 2012 was the most expensive on record at $3.60 per gallon. On Jan. 5, the national daily average dropped below the year-ago price for the first time since Aug. 20, which means motorists are now paying less for gasoline than last year – a trend that AAA believes is likely to continue.