Gas prices in the Charlotte region and across the country are stabilizing and even falling in many areas after reaching their highest levels of the year recently. Auto group AAA says prices may keep declining this summer as refineries ramp up their production.
As of early Tuesday, a gallon of unleaded gas in the Charlotte area was $2.645, a fraction of a penny cheaper than this time last week and about 94 cents cheaper than this time last year, according to AAA.
North Carolina’s statewide average price at the pump is $2.678, down about one penny from a week ago and down almost 90 cents from the same time last year. Nationwide, gas is $2.788 a gallon, 1.5 cents cheaper than a week ago and almost 90 cents cheaper than the same time last year.
South Carolina continues to boast the cheapest gas in the country at $2.477 a gallon, which is more than $1 cheaper than what drivers are paying in California, the state with the priciest gas.
AAA said in a report Monday that gas prices are evening out and declining in many areas because refineries are ironing out production issues. Gas production usually increases this time of year in anticipation of higher demand, and that should help keep prices down.
Fluctuations in global oil prices also affect gasoline prices. Crude oil prices fell last week, AAA noted, due to a stronger U.S. dollar amid concerns about Greece’s financial instability.