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AURORA, Ill., (December 16, 2019) – – December is finally bringing cheaper gas prices to pumps across the country. Today's average is $2.55, which is nearly a nickel cheaper than the beginning of the month. Decreasing gasoline demand and increasing stocks are driving the change in pump prices. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports show gasoline demand at its lowest rate since mid-February and the highest stock levels since this summer.

As the weather turns colder, people tend to drive less and AAA is seeing less gasoline demand. This causes gas prices to be less expensive. In the lead up to the holidays there may be a small spike in demand, but not enough to impact gas prices substantially.

Today's national average is two cents cheaper than last week, a nickel cheaper than last month, but 18 cents more expensive than this time last year.

Aside from Ohio (+8 cents), gas price averages are cheaper on the week across the Great Lakes and Central States with Indiana experiencing an 8-cent decrease. Gas prices edged lower as the region saw a 1.4 million bbl build in gasoline stocks. In fact, regional stocks have mostly increased since the beginning of November according to EIA data.

Year-over-year, gas prices in the region are more expensive, ranging from nearly a dime to 50 cents more than mid-December 2018. However, compared to last month, most drivers in the region are paying as much as a dime less to fill-up.



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Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday's formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 89 cents to settle at $60.07. Crude prices jumped up after the U.S. and China announced that the world's two largest crude consuming countries have reached a tentative "Phase One" trade agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of American farm goods. Since the start of the trade war between the two countries, crude prices have suffered because of reduced crude demand expectations as a result of the countries having to pay more for each other's goods. If trade tensions continue to decrease, crude prices could increase again this week due to reduced market concerns that crude demand will decrease next year.

In related news, EIA's recent petroleum status report revealed that total domestic crude inventories grew slightly by 800,000 bbl to 447.9 million bbl last week. Total domestic inventories are 5.9 million bbl higher than where they were at this time in 2018.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.