Gas prices dipped in New Jersey but stayed relatively stable over the rest of the country following the flooding and destruction in the Carolinas.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of a gallon of regular gas Friday in New Jersey was $2.87, down two cents from last week. Motorists were paying $2.69 for gas in New Jersey at this time last year.
At the Jersey Shore, gas prices currently range from $2.86 to $2.90 for a gallon of regular gas, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. The cheapest gas is currently found in Ocean County, while Monmouth County is the most expensive.
The national average gas price Friday was $2.85 a gallon, unchanged from last week. The national average a year ago was $2.60 a gallon.
Analysts say demand has slumped with the end of summer, and supply and demand seem to be in sync for the moment – but that balance may tip soon as more gas stations begin to sell cheaper-to-produce winter blend gasoline.
In New Jersey, gas prices have increased steadily since September 2016, when the average price of a gallon was around $2 and $2.20 in the country, according to gasbuddy.com.
A statewide 23-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase went into effect in November 2016. Another hike of 4.3-cents-per-gallon goes into effect on October 1, bringing the total tax on fuel up to 41.1 cents and 48.4 cents for diesel.
State officials say they have no choice because people are purchasing less fuel and state law requires an increase to the tax rate annually to cover road and rail expenses.
The gas tax is still less than in Pennsylvania (58.7 cents) and New York (45.8 cents).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.