Gasoline prices are below $3 a gallon at some Akron-area stations, and it might be because of reduced consumption tied to the federal government shutdown.
AkronGasPrices.com reports eight stations offering regular unleaded fuel for less than $3 a gallon and indicates prices will be stable. The average Akron area price was $3.13 on Monday afternoon.
A gallon of regular gas was averaging $3.22 in Ohio in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s 11 cents cheaper than a week ago and 54 cents less than a year ago.
Monday’s national average was about $3.35, a nickel less than a week ago. It’s 46 cents cheaper than the national average at this time last year.
The downward trend is expected to continue if the budget impasse and government shutdown drag on, AAA said, reducing demand for energy and resulting in lower fuel prices. That would be a boon for drivers but also signal a weak economy.
Chris Ziegler, executive director of the Ohio Petroleum Council, said he was not familiar with the possible influence of the government shutdown. He cited three other possible reasons for declining prices:
• Reduced crude oil prices on the global markets.
• An easing of tensions in Syria.
• Recent conversions to less expensive “winter” blends by refineries.