COLUMN: Gas prices are a sign of a good New Year



The New Year is starting just right, with a little extra cash in my pocket.

Because gas prices have been dropping throughout the holiday travel season that started Dec. 22, the good news is expected to flow into the New Year, analysts predict.

According to the AAA Auto Club Group analysts, the state’s average gas price of $3.18 fell 8 cents.

And as I write this column, prices in Cumming are hovering around $3 at most places including a Shell station, 1520 Peachtree Parkway and Sharon Road, and at least three Kroger filling stations, 2655 Freedom Parkway near Keith Bridge Road; 2325 Bethelview Road near Canton Highway and 1595 Peachtree Parkway and Sharon Road.

Pump prices of $3 and below will continue to make this a very happy New Year.

The national average used to be $3.21, a year ago, but throughout the year it has continued to climb. This holiday season pump prices have dipped to $3.21 (as of Dec. 20).

Analysts say the reasons are not Santa Claus related. They range to a drop to the value of the dollar increasing against the euro after the U.S. Labor Department announced that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in November and Germany cut its economic growth outlook for 2013.

And if we don’t get any hurricanes or Middle East disruption to oil supplies, the national average should stay below $4 per gallon.

AAA expects about 84 million Americans to hit the road during the holiday season this year and at least motorists will have one bit of good news to start the New Year.

Drive safe.

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