Gas prices hit all-time Christmas high, but Chattanooga area prices remain 13 cents a gallon below U.S. average

·2 min read

Dec. 27—Despite a decline in fuel prices over the past month, the average price of regular gas hit a record high for Christmas last week and prices at the pump in Chattanooga remain nearly $1 a gallon higher than a year ago, the online pricing website GasBuddy.com said Monday.

Chattanooga gas prices rose an average of 1.7 cents a gallon over the past week to $2.91 a gallon, ending the year 98.3 cents a gallon above what they were a year earlier, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations in Chattanooga.

But gas prices in Chattanooga are still 13.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and remain 34 cents a gallon below the U.S. average price of gas, which declined in the past week to $3.25 a gallon. Prices at the pump in Chattanooga also averaged a nickel a gallon below the statewide average.

"While the fall in prices [over the past month] is welcomed, we set an ugly new record for the holiday — it was the most expensive Christmas Day we've ever seen by two-tenths of a penny," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

DeHaan said despite the uptick in gas prices in some markets like Chattanooga over the past week, "the downward direction in gas prices should persist into this week in most areas."

However, gas prices are likely to jump in the Great Lakes due to a behavior called price cycling, caused by a rise in the wholesale price of gasoline against a backdrop of prices in the region that have now fallen under replacement cost.

"This will trigger a likely jump in gas prices in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky very soon," DeHaan said.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Chattanooga Monday is priced at $2.66 per gallon at the Circle K service station on Ashland Terrace near the Red Bank City limits with Chattanooga.

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