Drivers in the United States have noticed that gas is getting less expensive with at least two states selling it at $2.99 per gallon prices. However, the national average is still $3.61, but experts still predict further declines are on the way.
The recent plunge in oil prices has knocked more than 30 cents off the price of a gallon of gas in most parts of the U.S. since early April.
If Americans spend less filling their tanks, they’ll have more money for discretionary purchases.
On Friday, oil plunged nearly 4 percent as a bleak report on U.S. job growth heightened worries about a slowing global economy and waning oil demand. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent. Sobering economic news from China and Europe also contributed to the drop.
West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for oil in the U.S, fell $3.30, or 3.7 percent, to $83.23 per barrel, the lowest price since early October. The drop adds to a 17-percent decline in May. Brent crude, which is used to price international oil, lost $3.44, or 3.4 percent, to $98.43 per barrel, its lowest price since January 2011.
U.S. drivers should feel some relief, even if they’re worried about jobs. Auto club AAA says pump prices fell nearly 5 percent in May, the largest monthly percentage drop since November. Some station owners in South Carolina on Friday even presented drivers with a gift at the start of summer driving season: $2.99 gas.
Dan Durbin, president of R.L. Jordan Oil, says low wholesale prices allowed at least seven of the company’s Hot Spot stations in Spartanburg, S.C., to lower the price to $2.99 per gallon. South Carolina also has the lowest gas tax in the nation.
Durbin predicted that more of his stations and some competitors will lower prices once they sell off higher-priced supplies currently in their tanks.