Surprisingly, gas prices around town have fallen below $3 per gallon. Average retail gasoline prices in Texas have fallen 5.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.02/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 13,114 gas outlets in Texas. This compares with the national average that has fallen 8.0 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.25/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Texas during the past week, prices yesterday were 2.5 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 12.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 18.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 1.3 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
“The drop in gas prices certainly has been well noted – in some instances people have been calling this a gas price crash. Dub it whatever you like, but I’ll remind motorists: gasoline prices in some areas still could set all-time record highs for Christmas Day,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “While it is excellent that gasoline prices have dropped, I’m not on board with this being called a gas price crash. Call me a grinch, call me a realist, but at the end of the day, data doesn’t lie – and that data shows that gasoline prices are still clinging near all time highs for today’s date,” DeHaan said.
With the U.S. average price of gasoline falling 20 cents per gallon in the past month to $3.22/gallon today, it may be easy to overreact, but U.S. consumers tell GasBuddy that it’s good news, but, it’s not good enough.
“Some reports have been a bit too gleeful but we’re not expecting any dancing in the streets,” says DeHaan. “Even with the seasonal price decline, 2012 is going to yield the highest average price ever paid – January through December – at $3.63 per gallon.”
To gauge consumer sentiment GasBuddy asked whether gas prices and related transportation costs are forcing consumers to cut back holiday spending. In recent weeks a survey of respondents nationwide indicated that 43% of consumers said gas and transportation costs are forcing them to spend less; 51% said those issues are not impacting them and 5% were not sure, based on over 22,000 responses.