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Chattanooga gas prices fell last week to their lowest level in nearly five months as crude oil prices weakened over fears that the worsening coronavirus pandemic will slow the global economy.

Chattanooga gas prices fell an average of 9.3 cents per gallon over the past week to $1.69 per gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations. Chattanooga gas prices averaged the lowest of any major market in Tennessee and a pair of Brainerd gas stations, Circle K at 4900 Brainerd Road and Sam's Club at 6601 Lee Highway, were selling regular gas Monday at the lowest price of any stations in Tennessee.

The average price of fuel in Chattanooga at the start of this week was 43 cents a gallon less than the U.S. average price of $2.12 per gallon for regular fuel, which was down 2.7 cents a gallon in the past week.

Gas prices in Chattanooga are 13.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 50.7 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

"The drop in gas prices has accelerated in the last week as oil prices continue to slide on uncertainty over the election, stimulus and as coronavirus case counts soar, leading to more states rolling back their reopening plans," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "In just the last few days, it feels like uncertainty over a potential legal fight over the U.S. election has also risen to near panic levels, all of which throws more uncertainty into the ring, keeping the U.S. from potentially having a clear leader to turn things around. For now, it's virtually guaranteed that the national average will fall to under $2 per gallon in the next two weeks, so motorists need not be in a rush to fill their tanks."

According to a separate survey by AAA, more than half of the 140,000 gas stations in the United States are now selling regular gas for under $2 a gallon.

The last time that more than half the stations sold regular gas for less than $2 a gallon was June 18.

"This is all about demand," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks prices for AAA.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340

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