Gas prices take biggest one-week drop since 2008
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY - As October's leaves have fallen, so have gas prices in their biggest one-week decline since 2008, AAA Carolinas said Wednesday.
The average gas price in North Carolina, $3.58 per gallon, was 11 cents lower Wednesday than the $3.69 average seven days ago. Prices have dropped 27 cents since Sept. 14, when gas was at $3.85.
In downtown Salisbury, prices are as low as $3.37 at some places such as the Murphy USA fuel station across from Walmart.
Sonya Arnold said she's excited that gas prices are getting lower as she filled up her car.
"I hope they continue going down," said Arnold, a Salisbury resident. "I've had to limit my driving more than I used to."
Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point had the state's lowest average price for a gallon of gas Wednesday at $3.53. Asheville was highest at $3.67.
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.
According to AAA Carolinas, 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.
Jeanie Elliott, of Kannapolis, said she is thankful that gas prices have gone down, but for someone like her who lives on disability insurance, they're still painfully high.
"They're horrible," she said, watching the numbers on the pump. "It's sad the way prices have gone up, especially at special times of the year when I really want to go see family."
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.
"I think it's important to be sure and fill up while prices are low," said spokesman Tom Crosby. "It will probably stabilize, or maybe go up some, by Thanksgiving. That's a big travel weekend."
Crosby said "there's a whole bunch of reasons" that gas prices are falling.
"Number one, winter's coming on and summer's over, so demand is down," he said. "Number two, there's uncertainty about the weakening European economy, and the global economy is not bouncing back like people thought it was going to. When that happens, the dollar gets strong and the Euro gets weak."
When the dollar is strong against the Euro, Crosby said, speculation in oil futures diminishes and crude oil becomes cheaper.
According to AAA Carolinas, 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.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.