Easier to fill up when gas prices head down

Posted October 16, 2014 7:01 p.m. EDT

— Fuel prices have dropped below the $3 mark at some Triangle gas stations for the first time since 2011.

Experts attributed the declining prices to a decrease in demand from a weaker global economy and a stronger dollar.

"It feels great. It's like giving us a raise," cab driver David Izquierdo said Thursday. "We put gas in every single day just to get our people to go from one place to another."

The average price of a gallon of regular gas in North Carolina is $3.13, but Tiffany Wright, a spokeswoman for AAA Carolinas, said the statewide average could move below $3 before Thanksgiving.

Among drivers, gas cheaper than $3 a gallon triggers something psychological, Wright said, noting that it encourages people to fill-er-up rather than put-er-off – and maybe even take a little trip.

"I get really excited," driver Cosette Rosati said. "I feel a lot better. I feel like the economy is improving."

Mark Miller, who delivers pizzas for La Roma Pizza in Garner, said he drives 100 to 120 miles every couple of days, so a drop in gas prices has a "huge impact" on his wallet.

"I’m saving up to actually go to college," Miller said. "‘I’ve been able to go ahead and save a lot of money recently.”

John Hofmann, who runs air and vacuum machines at several gas stations, is a small-business owner with a macroeconomic view on falling fuel prices.

"We probably spend, as a company, probably around $3,000 a month in gas," Hofmann said. "In the long run, I'm going to do better, my employees are going to do better, and they're going to spend more money out here in the economy."