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AAA: Gas prices spared hikes for holiday

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Consumers will get a break this holiday weekend as gas prices are not expected to increase this week, according to Jessica Brady, public relations manager for AAA Auto Club South.

Brady expects prices will level out through the Thanksgiving holiday, following a price drop of $3.37 per barrel for crude oil last week. The price settled last Friday, at $81.51 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude prices decreased for the second week in a row, sparing last minute spikes in retail gas prices before Thanksgiving, she added. The drop translates into lower prices at the pump.

In metro Atlanta, the average price for regular unleaded gas sank about 4-cents over the week, to $2.74 per gallon on Monday, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Bloomberg's Stock Market and Financial Markets Overview reported crude oil remained fairly steady, at $81.72 per barrel late Monday afternoon, down from earlier that day.

"The decrease [on Nov. 19] came after China announced it will raise reserves and gave speculation they will increase interest rates that could slow demand growth in the country," Brady noted in a press release.

In addition, she said, economic concerns in Ireland that may result in a deepened credit crisis in Europe, also pushed prices lower earlier in the week.

"Consumers shouldn't expect any major spikes in retail gas prices this week before they hit [the] road for the holiday weekend," Brady continued. "Instead, retail prices should reflect minimal decreases of 2- to 3-cents."