Gas prices have edged up in New Jersey and around the nation, with analysts citing decreased inventories in the northeastern United States, increased demand and fluctuating crude oil prices.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.59 in New Jersey last week, up two cents from the previous week but lower than the $2.72 recorded at this time last year.
At the Jersey Shore, gas prices currently range from $2.58 to $2.60 for a gallon of regular gas, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. The cheapest gas is currently found in Cape May County, while Monmouth County is the most expensive.
The average gas price across the nation was $2.62 a gallon, up a penny from last week but also below the average of $2.72 at this time last year.
Analysts say demand is higher than last November, and depending on how the market reacts to ongoing U.S.-China trade talks, drivers could see price fluctuations leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
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 went into effect in Oct. 2018, bringing the total tax on fuel up to 41.14 cents and 48.4 cents for diesel. The tax feeds the state’s transportation trust fund to support capital improvements to roadways and bridges.
But the tax won’t increase in 2020, officials announced in August.
“We’re pleased that fuel consumption levels, coupled with our realistic projections last year, have allowed us to avoid an increase in the gas tax rate,” Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio said.
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.