Outlook for Gas Prices Remains Bright For Consumers And Foodservice

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline fell below $1.80 at the beginning of this week and stood at $1.79 Feb. 2. And according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the outlook through the spring “maintenance” season, when refiners convert to summer blends, continues to suggest falling prices.

U.S. consumers are saving $1 a gallon compared to last June’s price peak, AAA reports, putting billions of dollars into household budgets. Lower gasoline prices usually trigger increased spending on foodservice, especially by lower-income households. AAA says gas prices in 43 states are now averaging below $2 a gallon for regular. And states such as California, which had seen higher prices because of refinery capacity problems—a fire at a big refinery last year cut capacity—are seeing an end to supply problems. The average price for regular in California has fallen 10 cents during the past week, and the state has lost its lead having the most expensive gasoline in the country (perennial leader Hawaii is back on top.)

And with crude oil and wholesale refined product prices continuing to fall, at least the next few months of low gas prices should continue to fuel foodservice spending.

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