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Fuel costs remain steady

Average retail gasoline prices in Minnesota have not moved in the past week, averaging $2.33/gallon yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 2,856 gas outlets in Minnesota. This compares with the national average that has increased 1 cent per gallon in the last week to $2.43/gallon, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Minnesota during the past week, prices yesterday were 12.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 11.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 6.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 14.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on December 26 in Minnesota have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.21/gallon in 2016, $1.84/gallon in 2015, $2.19/gallon in 2014, $3.14/gallon in 2013 and $3.05/gallon in 2012.

"The Great Lakes has seen a flurry of gas price increases over the last week as several refinery issues have surfaces, pulling the national average up nearly single-handedly," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "With the New Year set to roll in accompanied by a strong cold front, I'd expect gasoline demand to weaken, thus softening the outlook for gas prices in the weeks ahead and eventually delivering lower gas prices."