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Gas prices should keep falling
Global economy could have impact
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A motorist fills a car with gas Tuesday afternoon at a Thompson Bridge Road convenience store. On Thursday, the price there had dropped to $3.46, following a national trend of falling prices due to the switchover to the winter gas blend and less demand entering the winter months.

Leaves aren’t the only things falling this autumn in Northeast Georgia, as gasoline prices are also drifting lower.

“It’s hard to give a one-size-fits-all answer, but Atlanta metro (gas) prices should be in the low to mid-$3 (a gallon) range, $3.10 to $3,40 a gallon for the rest of the year,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

Georgia’s average price of $3.54 decreased 9 cents from last week, and gas prices are expected to keep falling, with AAA predicting a national average price of $3.25 to $3.40 a gallon by Thanksgiving. Georgia gas prices are averaging $3.544 a gallon, down from $3.629 last week and $3.719 a month ago. Georgia’s year-ago average price per gallon was $3.42.

Although some forecasts have called for the price of gas to drop by 50 cents a gallon from its early autumn peak by Thanksgiving, “that’s a bit optimistic,” DeHaan said.

However, declining prices have become typical in the cooler months, he added.

“That’s a pattern that we’ve seen over several years now,” he said. “It’s pretty standard. Prices tend to fall in the cooler months because of the switch to cheaper winter gasoline, (and) lower demand, which causes supply to increase.”

Reports of a weakening global economy also could impact gasoline prices.

“That could become a large factor, but it’s kind of a mixed bag right now,” DeHaan said. “If there’s a significant amount of negative (economic) news, that would put downward pressure on prices.”

If market trends continue, consumers are likely to see falling gas prices every autumn.

“Falling demand in cooler months leads to higher supplies, which causes lower prices,” DeHaan said.

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