By Maria-Jose Subiria
The average, retail gasoline price in Georgia has increased by approximately 5 cents in a week, but should remain the same throughout this week.
Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA (American Automobile Association) Auto Club South, said the current average price is $2.88 for a gallon of regular unleaded. The national average price is nearly 10 cents higher than Georgia's, at $2.97 per gallon of regular unleaded, she said.
The expected consistency of the price throughout the week is due to the price of crude oil, which closed slightly lower than the previous week, on Dec. 10, said Brady. Crude oil settled on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $87.79 a barrel, $1.40 less than the previous week, she explained.
"Gas prices will remain stable this week with minimal fluctuation ... If anything, prices may decrease by a cent or two," she said. "While that may not be much of a decrease, any drop in price is welcomed by already strapped consumers."
Brady continued that China's ability to avoid inflation and slow demand-growth in the country was the contributing factor that pushed the price of crude oil lower.
Furthermore, economists think oil prices may decrease further this week on speculation that China will raise its interest rates, according to Brady.
Chinese economists haven't yet stated by how much they would raise their interest rates, if they decide to do so, she said.
"The U.S. and China are the largest crude oil consumers in the world," added Brady.