After three months of rising gasoline prices, Chattanooga motorists got a slight reprieve at the pump last week.
The online gas pricing web site GasBuddy.com said gas prices in Chattanooga fell by 0.6 cents per gallon last week to an average of $2.64 a gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga gas prices averaged 30 cents a gallon below the U.S. average of $2.94 on Sunday, but local prices at the pump were still up by 64.5 cents per gallon from the same time a year ago.
"Finally some moderation has hit tens of thousands of gas stations across the country, following the drop in oil prices in recent days," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "We may have dodged a bullet in avoiding the $3 per gallon level for now, but not everything is rosy yet. While nearly 40 states saw average prices drop in the last week, 10 still saw small increases, so this is not an all-inclusive party by any means."
Crude oil prices hit 7-week lows last week as the dollar gained strength and U.S. oil rig count reached the highest level since March 2015.
"Gas prices could drop 10-15 cents, based on recent oil price declines," said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "The discount will not happen overnight, because it usually takes a couple weeks for shifts like this to play out at the pump. However, any downward potential would be wiped out if futures prices suddenly bounce higher."
DeHaan said "all eyes remain on OPEC and their coming meeting" to see if oil producing states try to push prices hi8gher or allow a respite during the traditionally busy summer travel season.