Like the temps, Connecticut, national gas prices continue to dip

Connecticut ushers in the New Year with average gas prices it hasn’t seen since April of 2009. As of today (Jan. 4), Connecticut’s average price for a gallon of gas is $2.14, down $.12 cents compared to last month; and $.48 cents compared to last year.

On the National level, today’s average price is $1.99, teetering at that mark since Christmas week.

Connecticut — the land of Steady Habits — has held steady at 10th place for the last four weeks in terms of the state with the highest gas prices. Today, drivers in 17 states are paying an average below $2 a gallon including Missouri and Oklahoma, that both continue to have the lowest average gas prices at $1.70 and $1.73, respectively. California and Hawaii continue to lead the pack with highest prices in the nation at $2.87 and $2.68, respectively.

In 2015, drivers statewide and nationally paid the second cheapest gas prices in a decade; only 2009 was cheaper. Nationally, the annual 2015 price was $2.40; which was $.94 cents less than 2014. Statewide, the annual 2015 price was $2.50, $.13 cents less than 2014.

An oversupplied market; and very low crude oil prices — between $36-$38 a barrel — are the reasons for low gas prices last year.

As for 2016, AAA estimates the average national price will likely end up between $2.25 and $2.45 a gallon.

Based on typical seasonal trends, the national average price could remain relatively flat or drop another dime over the next few weeks. However, by late winter, drivers may see a bump up in price by as much as $.50 cents as refineries conduct seasonal maintenance before the summer drive season.

There also is some uncertainty over the potential cost of crude in 2016, though most economists expect the market to remain oversupplied throughout the year. That worldwide glut has grown faster than demand and the situation is unlikely to change much as Iranian oil enters the marketplace.

However, if there are significant changes in oil markets, gas prices could always rise higher than expected, especially if political events and conflict unexpectedly disrupts oil production worldwide.

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 61 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey providing more than 5.1 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.