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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lockport area gas prices dropped nearly six cents this week, according to AAA East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge report. The average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline, based on reports from 22 stations in the Lockport area, was $2.889, down from $2.945 last week and $3.653 this time last year.

The steady decline in gas prices this autumn is now longer than any period AAA has previously tracked. The national average price of gas is the longest consecutive streak on record. Gas prices have fallen every day since September 25 to today’s average, which is the lowest national average price per gallon since May 2009. The decline in gas prices broke the previous record set in 2008 during the height of the Great Recession.

The best news for consumers is that the decline in the price at the pump has accelerated during the previous week. The current week-over-week drop of 15 cents is the largest such decline in more than six years. Barring any disruptions in domestic production or unexpected spikes in the global price of crude, consumers could see prices drop another 10-15 cents per gallon to ring in the New Year.

Abundant global supply and sluggish demand growth have helped push the global price of crude down by more than $50 per barrel since June. Although crude oil prices have seen dramatic price swings in recent years, this year’s plummet has been even more extreme and has triggered speculation surrounding the impact of sustained low prices for crude. Tumbling global prices have the potential to impact supply by slowing production in higher cost regions, which includes the United States. Additionally, a number of countries depend on oil income to balance their economies, and sustained low prices could lead to civil unrest as those governments struggle to deal with lower revenue streams.  At the close of formal trading on Friday, West Texas Intermediate closed down $2.14 per barrel at $57.81 on the NYMEX, the lowest settlement since May 2009.

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