The Week

Like autumn leaves, motorists have come to expect gas prices to fall this time of year.  In recent weeks New Jersey fuel prices have fluctuated at or just above the $2.00 per gallon mark, but if the recent downward trend in the national gas price average is any indicator, New Jersey prices should start to decrease in the near future. The national average price of gas has decreased by 3 cents over the past week to $2.19 per gallon Friday. Although the decrease is slight, drivers continue to benefit from substantial discounts compared to recent years. Consumers are saving 12 cents per gallon month-over-month and 73 cents per gallon year-over-year. Friday’s average represents the lowest price for this same date since 2008.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
11/13/2015
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.19 $2.22
$2.92
New Jersey
$2.00
$1.98
$2.76
Trenton
$2.02
$2.00
$2.82
Cape May County
$1.98
$1.94
$2.74
Burlington
$1.95
$1.94
$2.72
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$2.01
$2.00
$2.75
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$2.02
$1.99
$2.76
Crude Oil

$40.79 per barrel

$44.29 per barrel
$76.30 per barrel

Crude oil opened the week higher, yet the commodity fell to two and a half month lows Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a crude stockpile of four times more than market expectations (up 4.2 million barrels).  WTI crude oil closed Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX at $40.79.

The Weekend

“This year’s autumn refinery maintenance season continues to make headlines for its impact on regional markets,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic region have gone up slightly in recent weeks due to maintenance issues, but as issues are resolved and crude oil trends lower, prices at the pump should reverse course just in time for the holidays.”

The Week Ahead

Although gasoline demand typically retreats during the month of November, which could offset any major spikes in price due to supply shortages, unplanned outages could create volatility and put pressure on the national average in the near term. That said, the refinery maintenance season should be completed by Thanksgiving, and could lead to lower prices at the pump later in the year.