By Budd McLaughlin
ATHENS — Average retail gasoline prices in the Huntsville metro area, which includes Athens, have risen 1 cent per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.21 per gallon Tuesday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 261 gas outlets in the area. This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.37 per gallon, according to the gasoline price website gasbuddy.com.
In Athens, the prices ranged from a low of $3.17 to a high of $3.59 per gallon Tuesday.
According to gasbuddy.com, the metro area’s prices varied from $3.05 in New Hope to $3.59 in Athens and north Huntsville. The state average was $3.19.
"The national average has seen the pace of decline slow quite a bit in the last few days," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan in a press release. "While gasoline prices continue to drop at a slow pace, they remain a whopping 40 cents per gallon under prices a year ago.”
Locally, prices Tuesday were about 39.5 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 9.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 17.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 40.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago, the website showed.
DeHaan said the government shutdown is affecting the release of price and supply information which, in turn, could result in gasoline price spikes.
“With the fed shutdown continuing, we … will be seeing less data made available this week as it is the first week that we're not expecting the government to release a weekly report on changes in supply and demand, meaning traders will be somewhat blinded when it comes to trading futures, which could add to volatility,” he said.