Drivers will have some extra money in their pockets this holiday season as tumbling gasoline futures mean lower prices are ahead at the pump.
“The drop in futures is eventually going to translate into further declines at the pump,” said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York. “There will be a little extra discretionary spending that consumers can use somewhere else this holiday season.”
The nation’s largest motoring club says retail prices “have a very good chance” of being the lowest for the Nov. 28 Thanksgiving holiday in five years. Motorists are already paying the least since 2010 after crude oil tumbled more than 20 percent in the past four months.
The average retail price for regular gasoline fell 0.3 cent to $2.91 a gallon Thursday, the least since December 2010, according to AAA.
In Fort Worth, average prices actually increased by 6 cents a gallon, to $2.69, in the past week, according to AAA Texas. Statewide, prices fell by two cents to $2.73 a gallon.
Based on declines in the futures market, pump prices might fall to $2.70 or thereabouts nationwide, said Michael Green, a Washington-based spokesman for AAA. “At this point, the market refuses to stabilize, the price of crude oil continues to fall and refiners are making more gasoline. There’s no end in sight.”
“We’re still a long way from getting down to $2,” Green said. “But I didn’t think it was going below $3, and here we are.”
A Shell filling station in Spring, near Houston, was selling the cheapest gasoline Thursday at $2.29 a gallon, said Patrick DeHaan, a Chicago-based senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.