Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, says during 2012, we hit a new record high for the national average price paid at $3.60 a gallon.
“In the Midwest, we had two peaks actually, one in April and one in September and both times, we nearly approached $4 a gallon,” Weinholzer says.
The motor club’s report forecasts prices at the pump overall will be lower in the months ahead than during 2012.
“We don’t expect the peak this year to be near $4 as we did last year, actually twice in the Midwest,” Weinholzer says. “We expect the peak to be more in the $3.60 to $3.80 area, but as a whole, the national average will be below last year by about 20-cents on average throughout the year.”
Several reasons are behind the predictions, she says. “We’re seeing increased domestic production and that’s helping out quite a bit,” Weinholzer says. “Beyond that, we’re seeing a slight reduction in demand. Vehicles are becoming more fuel-efficient. Also, unfortunately, part of that is due to the fact the economy just isn’t as robust as it has been.”
While some stations in central Iowa are selling gas in the 2-90s, the statewide average is $3.11 a gallon. That’s a full 20-cents below the national average of $3.31.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City