AAA Reports Gas Prices Bounce Back Up With the New Year

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ — AAA reports that, with the ringing in of the new year, gasoline prices are higher and could continue to rise in the next few weeks. The nationwide average price for self-serve regular gasoline is $2.322, which is 15.1 cents higher since the middle of December and 55 cents higher than one year ago.

“During December, national average gas prices fell and remained near the $2.20 level, and consumers felt better about the economy,” said Dawn Duffy, AAA Minneapolis spokesperson. “This optimism seems to have carried over and be reflected in yesterday’s Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed above 11,000 points for the first time in four and a half years.”

Overall, AAA predicts 2006 will be another year of pump price volatility. While it does not believe 2006 will revisit the highs reached after Hurricane Katrina (which soared above $3 per gallon), it also doesn’t appear prices will fall below $2 per gallon in the foreseeable future.

“Crude oil prices recently moved higher, trading above $64 per barrel yesterday, and wholesale gasoline is above $1.80 a gallon,” said Gail Weinholzer, AAA Minnesota/Iowa. “Assuming there is 50- to 60-cents per gallon in taxes, operating costs and profits, the cost of retail gasoline should continue to go higher over the next week or so.”

Reports for January 10, 2006, reflect the following average prices per gallon for self-serve, regular unleaded gas:

Current Month Ago Year Ago

National $2.32 $2.17 $1.77
Minnesota $2.29 $2.16 $1.75
Duluth $2.31 $2.18 $1.77
Minneapolis/St. Paul $2.30 $2.19 $1.76
Rochester $2.31 $2.14 $1.73
St. Cloud $2.27 $2.08 $1.75

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is based upon data from the Oil Price Information Service, the nation’s most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing statistics, and can be found at http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/ .

AAA ( http://www.aaa.com/ ) offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 45 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA Minnesota/Iowa is part of The Auto Club Group, with 4.1 million members in eight Midwest states. AAA Minneapolis serves more than 175,000 members in Hennepin County.

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