Average regular unleaded prices have decreased for the second straight week, but remain well above last year's

While prices at the gas pumps are down slightly from last week, motorists shouldn't expect to find significant holiday savings at the gas pump. That's the word from AAA Western and Central New York, which released its year-end forecast for gas prices on Monday.

Monday's national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.51 per gallon, down 3 cents from the previous week — the second straight week of decreases. One year ago, however, the national average price was $2.13, which was 38 cents a gallon cheaper. In New York, the state average price Monday was $2.68, down 1 cent from last week and up 32 cents from last year's $2.36.

In Canandaigua, gas could be found Monday at $2.46 per gallon at the Sunoco station at South Main and Parrish streets, according to GasBuddy.com. It reported the same price Sunday at the Speedway station on Lakeshore Drive.

And while AAA does expect gas prices to drop between now and the end of the year, motorists still will have paid the highest November and December prices since 2014.

“Despite a forecasted 5 to 20 cents decrease in coming weeks, motorists will see higher than expected December gas prices — especially compared to year-end prices from 2015 and 2016,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations with AAA WCNY. “Driving factors for cheaper gas prices this winter include colder temperatures, the threat of inclement weather and online shopping.”

Gas prices have strayed from typical trends in 2017, AAA WCNY noted: Historically, year-end gas prices tend to be relatively cheap due to a drop-off in fall gasoline demand around Labor Day and the move to cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline in mid-September. This year, consumer demand remained steady and gas exports experienced continued growth — plus there was the impact of two major hurricanes.

Gas prices didn't deter motorists from enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday. According to AAA WCNY, this past holiday weekend saw the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005, with 1.6 million more people traveling.

 

Closer to home

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

• Buffalo: $2.65 (down 1 cent in past week)

• Ithaca: $2.63 (down 2 cents in past week)

• Rochester: $2.61 (down 1 cent in past week)

• Rome: $2.63 (down 1 cent in past week)

• Syracuse: $2.59 (down 1 cent in past week)

• Watertown: $2.68 (down 1 cent in past week)