As motorists prepare to hit the road for the busy Fourth of July holiday this weekend, Chattanooga motorists are enjoying some of the lowest prices in a decade at the pump.
The average retail price of gasoline in Chattanooga fell by another 6.9 cents per gallon last week, dropping to an average price of $2.02 per gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga. The decline marks the third consecutive week of falling gas prices in Chattanooga, although prices at the pump are still 48 cents per gallon higher than at the low point reached in February.
Chattanooga gas prices averaged 29 cents per gallon less than the U.S. average of $2.31 per gallon at the start of this week, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Gas prices, on average, are 45.9 cents per gallon less than a year ago and $1.37 per gallon in Chattanooga below where they were two years ago. The price of a gallon of regular gas in Chattanooga fell Monday to as low as $1.82 per gallon at the Raceway on Highway 153 near Highway 27 in Hixson — the lowest price in the region.
Energy analysts said Monday they expected prices to head lower this week following last week's vote by the British people to exit from the European Union.
"The national average price of gasoline has now slipped nearly 10 cents lower than the 2016 peak, to-date, bringing greater likelihood that prices for the Fourth of July weekend will be even lower than where they now stand," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "And if there was any doubt about the direction of retail gasoline, Brexit's impact — strengthening the U.S. dollar; weakening European currencies and weakening global crude oil prices — is expected to add even more downward pressure to summer gas prices despite record-setting demand (9.81 million barrels per day for the week ending June 17)."
The price of light sweet crude oil futures plunged another 2.2 percent Monday to close at $46.33 per barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This story was updated June 27 at 11:40 p.m. with more information.