Investors may be wary about the China-U.S. trade war and its impact on stocks, but Chattanooga motorists continue to benefit by the drop in oil prices from those same trade concerns.
A new study Monday suggests motorists could enjoy even cheaper gas prices this fall, perhaps falling another 35 cents a gallon.
Chattanooga gas prices continued to fall over the past month, dropping another 6.3 cents a gallon last week to $2.24 a gallon on Sunday — their lowest average level in nearly two months, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 local stations.
But the cheapest gas in Tennessee — and the sixth lowest of any city in the United States — is in Cleveland, Tennessee, GasBuddy surveys show. Cleveland's average of only $2.14 a gallon Sunday was a dime a gallon cheaper than nearby Chattanooga and averaged 55 cents a gallon below the U.S. average price Sunday of $2.69 a gallon for regular gas, GasBuddy.com said.
"The national average price of gasoline has now fallen to the lowest level of the summer, but even better, the lowest since March as gas stations pass along the recent drop in oil prices brought on by the U.S.-China trade rift," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "However, the drops in gas prices could slow in the weeks ahead as some OPEC members talk about cutting oil production to stem the recent drop in oil prices."
DeHaan said OPEC producers may have trouble pushing up oil prices, however, as the demand for oil slackens amid a plentiful supply.
"A production cut from oil producers may be more akin to putting lipstick on a pig as oil markets have plenty of downside ahead as demand for fuels begins to move lower into the fall with summer driving season ending soon.," DeHaan said. "The U.S. national average could fall an additional 35 cents per gallon by Thanksgiving even after this week's drop should the trade tensions and geopolitical risks remain the same."