The average price for a gallon of gas in North Carolina today is $3.58, compared to $3.69 one week ago. Gas prices have dropped 27 cents since Sept. 14, when it was $3.85. Motorists are still paying 15 cents more than they did on this date one year ago and have been paying more in 2012 than in 2011 since Aug. 15 of this year.
In South Carolina, gas prices have fallen to $3.36, the fourth lowest in the country; a week ago, it was $3.48.
The last time gas prices dropped more than 11 cents a gallon for self-serve, regular unleaded was the week of Nov. 25 through Dec. 1, 2008, when gas prices fell 15 cents in North Carolina.
The current dramatic drop is due to the decline in crude oil prices and worries about the possible weakening of the global economy, a decline in demand by U.S. drivers and a stronger U.S. dollar, according to AAA Carolinas.
“The price drop is great news for drivers,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “However, the nature of gas pricing today mostly depends upon issues outside the U.S.” Parsons added, “like armed conflicts in oil-producing nations, the dollar’s value against the Euro and the demand for oil in developing countries like China, India and Brazil.”
When the dollar is strong against the Euro, speculation in oil futures diminishes and crude oil becomes cheaper.
AAA Carolinas expects that gas prices will continue to drop between now and Thanksgiving, typically the most heavily traveled four-day holiday and often a time when prices stabilize or rise slightly.
Events that could halt the decline in gasoline prices include a disruption in supply, the threat of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico or escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Greensboro/Winston Salem/High Point has the state’s lowest average price for a gallon of gas at $3.53; Asheville is highest at $3.67.