As prices at the pump continue to fluctuate, NewsChannel 11 asks if a downward trend will continue. Prices in Lubbock dropped about seven cents from the weekend. Wednesday evening we found prices as low as $3.53 a gallon at some stations.
AAA reports prices across the country dropped about a penny overnight, bringing the national average to $3.79. It's welcomed relief, and one economist says we could see prices continue to fall, but that may not be good news for your budget.
In a typical year, the South Plains would just now be winding down from the peak driving season, but the Federal Highway Administration reports Americans already cut back, to the tune of more than 12-billion miles in June alone. The decrease in demand is one reason we see prices fall at the pump.
"I do suspect that we'll see some further falling gasoline prices, although they may tick-up again between now and Labor Day, so it's not necessarily all good news," Texas Tech University Assistant Professor of Economics Peter Summer said. Summer says with a slumping economy, higher cost of food and other products, and family's budgets staying the same, lower prices may not mean that much in the long run.
"So, even though we may be seeing some relief at the gas pump, you're not necessarily going to feel like everything is back to normal and everybody's happy again," Summer said. Despite that, area drivers say they'll enjoy the cheaper gas as long as they can get it.
Meanwhile, oil prices surged to $116 a barrel Tuesday, after the government reported a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. gasoline supplies. That, combined slumping retail sales in July sent the Dow tumbling more than 100-points.
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