ATLANTA — Georgia gas prices are up this week compared to a week ago, according to the auto club AAA.

Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $2.42 per gallon for regular unleaded. Monday's state average was 4 cents more than a week ago, 7 cent less than this time last month and 30 cents less than this time last year.

It now costs $36.30 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline, AAA said. That is $6.30 less than what motorists paid in May of 2018, when pump prices hit their 2018 peak of $2.84 per gallon.

“Gas prices last week saw volatility due to fluctuation with gasoline stocks,” said Montrae Waiters, a spokeswoman for AAA. “The fluctuation in stocks led to slight increases at the pump this week, but only by a few cents.”

The most expensive Georgia metro markets were Atlanta at $2.48 per gallon, Gainesville at $2.46 and Hinesville-Fort Stewart at $2.44.

The least expensive Georgia metro markets were Catoosa-Dade-Walker at $2.22 per gallon, Warner Robins at $2.29 and Columbus $2.30.

In its latest petroleum status report, the Energy Information Administration revealed that gas demand increased by 336,000 barrels per day to 9.8 million, AAA said. This latest rate is 158,000 barrels per day higher than the first week of September 2018, which is surprising as demand generally slows post-Labor Day, the auto club said.

EIA’s data also showed that total domestic gasoline stocks fell by 700,000 barrels to 228.9 million last week. Although demand rebounded to a level seen during a typical summer, cheap crude prices have helped to keep the national average mostly steady this week and 27 cents cheaper than a year ago, AAA said. Since last Monday, the national average for regular unleaded gasoline has increased by a penny to $2.57.

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