By Justin Vick
A global recession continues to push gas prices below $2 — a figure North Carolina motorists haven’t seen at pumps since March 2005.
“It’s all based on the sluggish economy,” said Carol Gifford, spokeswoman for AAA Carolinas. “The reason gas prices are continuing to decline is there is less demand for gasoline among motorists in the U.S. and globally.”
Prices have steadily declined since oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico closed in anticipation of Hurricane Ike in September, prompting local stations to run out of fuel and residents to pay as much as $4.19 per gallon.
The average price paid Monday for a gallon of gas at a Concord-area pump was about $2.05 — 20 cents lower than last week and $1.25 lower than last month, according to AAA’s Web site.
Perhaps the least expensive place to buy gas Monday in Cabarrus County was the Hot Spot on 2500 S. Main St. Kannapolis, which charged $1.79 per gallon.
That was a quarter less than what was paid on average Monday in and around Kannapolis, according to AAA.
The Web site had average gas prices ranging from $1.98 in China Grove to $2.08 in Harrisburg.
Gifford said gas prices could continue to decrease daily until the end of the year — though the rate of decline may level off around travel holidays, such as Thanksgiving.
“Motorists feel some relief, but we don’t see them changing their driving habits yet, because of their concerns over the sluggish economy,” Gifford said.