Oil prices remain relatively unchanged this week as economic news remains bleak here in the U.S. and abroad. Prices fell further after reports showed China’s manufacturing index dropped for a third month in a row, while European retail sales declined last month and U.S. consumer spending continues to slow. Fuel demand continues to falter as weak economies cause consumers to cut back on spending and travel. Crude oil settled Friday at $79.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange—65 cents less than the week prior.
"Economic news is not looking good in the long term and we can expect the market to react to every piece of economic news that comes from the U.S. and Europe in the short term," said Jessica Brady, spokesperson, AAA. "Gas prices continue to decrease as oil prices retreat below $80 a barrel and this trend is expected to continue for quite a while, unless positive news unexpectedly hits the market."
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.42 per gallon, reflecting an 8-cent decrease from last week. Florida’s average price of $3.39, Georgia’s average price of $3.27, and Tennessee’s average price of $3.22 also dropped 8 cents since last week, respectively. Here in Murfreesboro, some discounters are offering regular gas at $3.11 per gallon.