WASHINGTON – Gas prices are dropping, and the lower prices could result in an economic boost.
The latest WTOP Pain in the Gas Survey shows the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline in the area is $3.89, down 8 cents from last week. One year ago this week unleaded regular was $4.13 a gallon.
The survey finds mid-grade dropped 8 cents to $4.10 a gallon. Premium is down by 5 cents to $4.24. Diesel prices also are down by 8 cents.
The average for regular fuel this week is cheapest in Virginia, where regular is down to $3.82. The average is just a cent higher in Maryland at $3.83. Gas is $4.02 in the District.
A separate survey, done by AAA Mid-Atlantic, finds gasoline prices dropped an average of 4 cents in the last week and are down 20 cents a gallon across the country from a year ago. The latest AAA Mid-Atlantic survey shows unleaded regular hovering at about $3.78 a gallon.
University of Maryland economist and professor Peter Morici says if gas goes down to $3.50 a gallon or below, it could spur job creation.
“People will go to restaurants more, maybe buy a few more clothes,” Morici says.
That may give the economy a lift economists weren’t expecting and be the difference between the economy creating 120,000 jobs a month versus 180,000 or 200,000.
Some oil experts have predicted gasoline prices could actually drop to $3.00 a gallon or less before the summer is over.