Tennessee drivers are paying an average of $2.44 per gallon for regular unleaded, AAA reported. Monday's state average is 9 cents more than a week ago, 25 cents more than this time last month and 3 cents more than this time last year.
Last week, every state except Florida (no change) saw gas prices increase, some as much as 16 cents; this pushed the national average up 8 cents. Monday’s national average of $2.62 is 23 cents higher than a month ago, but only 2 cents higher than this time last year.
“Thanks to increasing demand and tightening gasoline stocks across the country, March gas prices came in like a lion and will not go out like a lamb,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “State gas price averages are very similar to a year ago, give or take a few pennies, which means some motorists are paying among the most expensive averages seen this time of year in the last five years.”
Most expensive gas prices in the state
• Morristown ($2.49)
• Jackson ($2.48)
• Nashville ($2.48)
Least expensive gas prices in the state
• Johnson City ($2.35)
• Kingsport-Bristol ($2.36)
• Cleveland ($2.39)
What about oil?
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 94 cents to settle at $59.04, according to AAA.
U.S. stock market losses dragged oil prices lower despite new data from the Energy Information Administration, which revealed that total domestic crude inventories fell by nearly 10 million barrels to 439.5 million barrels.
The larger-than-expected drawdown could be a sign of higher crude prices in the near future in light of crude export sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and OPEC’s 1.2 million barrels-per-day production reduction agreement, which is in place with other major global crude producers through June 2019.
Crude prices could rise this week if there is another major drawdown, AAA predicted. Pump prices will likely follow suit as the country enters the late spring and summer driving seasons.
To view daily gas price averages, visit www.GasPrices.AAA.com.