Gasoline prices are dropping as demand for fuel has lagged since the year began.
AAA said the recent decreases came after the Commerce Department reported retail sales dropped in March and a report showed that consumer sentiment is at a nine-month low.
The lag in fuel demand has caused both OPEC and the Energy Information Administration to cut their global oil demand outlook for the year. This comes at a time when U.S. oil output is at a 20-year high and supplies are plentiful.
“Oil and gas prices will likely continue on this downward trend until stronger economic figures are reported, AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady said. “Although the economic news is less than great, motorists will welcome the falling gas prices as the summer driving season begins.
A barrel of oil closed Friday at $91.61 on the New York Mercantile Exchange – $1.09 less than the week before. The national average price per gallon of gasoline is $3.52, nearly 40 cents cheaper than this time last year.
Georgia’s average is $3.37. Augusta has an average of $3.34.=
South Carolina’s average stands at the cheapest in the nation, $3.30 per gallon. Tennessee and Missouri, respectively, fall into second and third places.
According to reports in The State newspaper, gas prices in South Carolina are likely to fall under $3 per gallon – something that hasn’t occurred since 2010.