Friday, November 27, 2015

Philly-area gas prices dropping, could fall below $3

A driver on Route 130 earlier this spring. Gas prices in the Philadelphia region are dropping. (Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer)
A driver on Route 130 earlier this spring. Gas prices in the Philadelphia region are dropping. (Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer)
Story Highlights
  • Gas prices in the region could soon dip below $3 a gallon.
  • The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.46 in Philadelphia and its suburbs.
  • That’s nearly 20 cents cheaper than prices reported a month ago.

Gas prices in the Philadelphia region are falling -- and if that trend continues, the price could soon dip below $3 a gallon at some stations.

GasBuddy is reporting prices as low as $3.05 this morning in Woodbury, Gloucester County. Gas can be found for $3.11 at other stations in South Jersey, and as low as $3.28 in the Pennsylvania suburbs and $3.29 in Northeast Philadelphia. 

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.46 in Philadelphia and the city's Pennsylvania suburbs and $3.24 in South Jersey, according to AAA.

Those prices are nearly 20 cents cheaper than the prices of $3.64 in Philadelphia and $3.42 in South Jersey reported a month ago. And a year ago, local gas prices averaged $3.91 in Philly and $3.72 in South Jersey.

AAA says declines in crude oil prices, low demand and the weak economy have all contributed to the drop in gas prices.

"There are a lot of factors keeping gas prices down," AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Jenny Robinson said.

In parts of the country, gas is already below $3 a gallon. Some stations in Texas, South Carolina, Kentucky and other states are reporting prices under the $3 mark. 

That price used to be shocking to motorists, but a AAA survey released last week showed just 46 percent of adults believe gas is too high at $3 per gallon. AAA says the new “breaking point” for gas prices -- the point at which half of adults say gasoline costs too much -- is $3.44 per gallon.

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is $3.50, down from $3.63 a month ago and $3.81 a year ago, according to AAA. Gas is averaging $3.46 a gallon in Pennsylvania as a whole and $3.29 in New Jersey.

And prices are expected to continue to decline through Independence Day, Robinson said.

"Demand has been low and production has increased," she said.

Gas prices typically peak in the spring. Last year, the price in the Philadelphia region topped out at an average $3.94 per gallon on April 5; in 2011, the average peaked at $3.98 on May 5.

"Usually, when the demand ramps up, that's typically when the prices go up," Robinson said.

But this year, she said, the price peaked much earlier due to a tightened supply. The highest average price this year for the Philadelphia region was $3.78 per gallon, on Feb. 27.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter. staff
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