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Economist: Low gas prices will likely remain through Labor Day

Posted August 1

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— Gas prices have reached their lowest point since April, with a national average of $2.13 for a gallon of regular. In North Carolina, prices have dipped as low as $1.85 per gallon.

The drop in gas prices makes a difference in the way people conduct their daily lives and transportation habits can change drastically based on the price at the pump.

Eric Amador said that higher gas prices forced him to find alternative modes of transportation in the past.

‘A lot of people didn’t want to get cars. I rode my bike. I didn’t want to use my car at all because $10 wasn’t nothing,” he said.

According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas at this time last year was $2.65. North Carolinians paid an average of $2.48.

Economist Steve Rhode said that drivers can expect the lower prices to last at least a little while longer.

“We should see those prices continue to hold that line until around Labor Day,” he said.

College student Taliyah McBride tells us she’s happy to put her SUV on the road until the prices climb again.

“I’m actually from South Carolina…and I’ve been able to go home a lot more this summer because I’m not worried about having to ask my family members for gas money all the time because I can afford it,” she said.

While most are breathing a collective sigh of relief for the time being, Rhode said consumers should keep an eye out for other areas where they may feel a financial pinch.

“For some reason, the state has taken it upon itself to take care of a record number of road miles for some reason,” Rhode said. “So, choices are gas prices are down, cars are getting more economical, we’re buying less fuel so we’re going to have to make up that tax revenue some place.”

Rhode said another concern is that lower gas prices will cause people to buy cars that are not economical and then not be prepared when prices go back up.

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