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Gas prices here roughly unchanged from last week

By VELVET SPICER - 3/20/2017 12:47:55 PM

Drivers in Rochester continue to pay more at the gas pump than drivers elsewhere around the country.

The average price of a gallon of gas here this week was $2.33, roughly flat from a week ago, but nearly 34 cents higher than a year ago. Nationwide, drivers are paying $2.29 a gallon, GasBuddy.com reported.

Prices locally, however, were down 2 pennies a gallon from a month ago, and Rochesterians are paying significantly less than what they were paying five years ago when gas averaged $3.95 per gallon.

Rochester’s neighbors to the west, in Buffalo, are paying $2.39 per gallon, while Syracuse drivers are paying $2.27 per gallon this week, GasBuddy reported.

The nation’s most expensive markets are in Hawaii, California, Washington, Alaska and Nevada, AAA Western and Central New York reported. South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas drivers pay less than those across the country.

“As oil prices have hit a bit of a rough patch in the last two weeks, gasoline prices have stumbled as well with a majority of states seeing a weekly pull back in retail prices,” GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said in a statement. “While some states did see minor increases, the bulk of the country saw prices moving lower at a time of year that such a move is about as likely as a 16th seed team winning the NCAA tournament.”

DeHaan noted that while a drop in gas prices are welcome among drivers, prices are nearly guaranteed to rebound well in time for Memorial Day and the start of the summer driving season.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that consumer prices have risen 2.7 percent over the last year, the largest price increase since 2012. The Center for Economic and Policy Research attributed the high inflation rate to a rise in energy prices, specifically a 28 percent increase in fuel oil price and a nearly 31 percent increase in gas prices.

AAA noted comments late last week suggested OPEC would be willing to extend production cuts beyond the six-month agreement, especially if global inventories stay bloated. Traders will continue to watch whether OPEC and non-OPEC members make moves to further cut production in order to balance global oil supply, AAA said. 

Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

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