Good news: Gas prices begin downward spiral

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by SHON GABLES

WFAA

Posted on May 8, 2011 at 11:34 PM

Updated Monday, May 9 at 12:21 AM

DALLAS — It's the relief we've all been waiting for: Gas prices are expected to drop nearly 50 cents in the coming weeks, and it's happening just in time for the summer travel season.

After skyrocketing 91 cents since January — including 44 straight days of increases — the national average for a gallon of unleaded regular gas currently hovers at $4.

The price tag for a fill-up has made motorists like Andrew Robinson take fewer road trips, and do a lot more walking than driving.

"I go all the way 'til 'empty' cause I hate spending money on gas," he said. "Then I just come here and just load up."

Declining gasoline consumption, along with as a 15 percent drop in oil prices, are both factors expected to send gas prices tumbling as early as June.

Financial anaylst Eric Amado says positive job growth and the rising value of the dollar, may bring relief to consumers in other areas as well.

"When you have cheaper gas prices — which we look to have in the future — you have cheaper transportation costs," he said. "For example, American Airlines might charge cheaper ticket prices to customers, and you might have cheaper transportation costs like with UPS and FedEx and that sort, and you may also have cheaper food prices because it costs less to transport food to grocery stores which are passed along to the customers."

It's a Mother's Day gift that many are welcoming after months of pain at the pump.

"There's just people that are hurting, and I just wish the price would go down," said motorist Jeff Westmeyer.

Kamesha Phillips is already looking forward to more money in her pocketbook. "I'll probably be able to enjoy life a little bit more you know — go out and do something, just enjoy life!" she said.

As good as all this sounds, Amado says we shouldn't expect an immediate price drop at our neighborhood gas station; this one will be gradual.

Many gas stations are reluctant to lower prices until they see their competition do the same.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com

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