CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With the holidays right around the corner, some much needed relief at the pump continues across the Capital Region. According to GasBuddy, the average cost of a gallon of gas locally has dropped more than a dime in the last week.
The average cost was around $3.65 Thursday, 31¢ less than they were last month. But despite the recent drop in prices, Albany is still sitting higher than the $3.29 national average, with prices remaining around 17¢ higher than this time last year.
“The only reason really the Mid Atlantic and the Northeast is above is because of refinery challenges that have persisted, although we’ve seen some improvement there. Gas prices are likely to continue falling here over the next couple of weeks,” said Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy.
GasBuddy data showed a dozen states across the country with an average gallon less than $3 Thursday.
Cooling gas prices come as recession fears continue, demand drops because of colder weather and inflation, COVID in China and a variety of other factors. While prices have fallen under $3 in parts of the South and Midwest, it’s unlikely the Capital Region will see similar prices.
“You’re generally relying more on expensive imports, especially now that Russia’s invaded Ukraine, Europe is trying to buy it from many of the same sellers that much of the Northeast and Mid Atlantic states are,” De Haan explained.
There’s also been a positive trend for diesel prices, with the national average falling with improving production at refineries.
Despite this encouraging trend, the Trucking Association of New York says it’s not making a dent in the challenges the industry has faced over the past several years.
“Diesel fuel is obviously the lifeblood of our industry. It’s our second largest expense, only following labor. So these prices are having a tremendous impact on companies of all sizes, but particularly on smaller ones,” said Kendra Hems, President of TANY.
According to GasBuddy, New York’s average cost of diesel Tuesday was $5.65. That is nearly $2 more than it was last year and makes the Empire State the sixth most expensive for diesel in the country.
“It impacts consumer budgets, it impacts business investment, so in addition to the direct cost, there’s impacts on the economy as a whole as people are spending less,” Hems said.
While we can enjoy lower gas prices into the holidays and new year, De Haan says the downward trend is likely to end around February when demand starts to ramp back up. However, he says it’s unlikely we’ll see the historic highs we did earlier this year.
New York’s gas tax suspension is also set to end at the end of the year. The temporary measure has kept gas prices 16¢ lower.