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Area gas prices to drop through end of the year
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Gasoline prices in the Gainesville area are likely to drop through the end of the year, following a trend across the nation, according to a spokesman for AAA.

AAA spokesman Josh Carrasco said gas prices have steadily decreased over the last several weeks in the Northeast Georgia area.

“One of the reasons for that is refineries have switched over from their summer blend to their winter blend fuels, which (are) a little bit cheaper to produce,” Carrasco said.

There is also record high domestic oil production in the U.S., according to Carrasco.

“There’s the shale oil boom that’s going on in North Dakota and Texas,” he said. “We’re seeing record high oil production for this time of year.”

Prices last week remained about the same and could remain the same or increase slightly this week, due to a few refinery outages in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Carrasco. However, area residents should see prices continue to decline slightly over the next few months.

“We think the overall average for Georgia and the United States should continue to go down throughout the end of the year,” Carrasco said.

A report from The Associated Press last week said the national average dropped 28 cents per gallon from Sept. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2013. The report also stated the current national average of $3.35 per gallon is a dime cheaper than this time last year.

“Lower fuel prices help the economy in a few ways,” the AP report stated. “They make goods cheaper to ship and make travel more affordable. Drivers are left with a few extra dollars in their pockets. And consumers grow confident enough to make other purchases, perhaps even a big-ticket item. Consumer spending is 70 percent of the U.S. economy.”

The Associated Press

contributed to this story.

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