Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Chris Park, of Snellville, washes his windows while fueling up at a Kroger gas station off Five Forks Trickum Road on Monday afternoon. Park said it's nice that prices are dropping, but it still costs him over $60 to fill his tank.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gas prices are dropping, but not quite low enough for real celebration.
GasBuddy.com -- a website where consumers can submit actual gas prices offered at stations in their communities -- reported most Gwinnett prices in the $3.22 to $3.25 per gallon range on Monday, and as low as $3.19 in Buford.
It's cheaper than the state average of a month ($3.53) or even a week ($3.45) ago, but still nowhere near last September's average of $2.59 per gallon. That said, every little bit helps.
"It's nice," resident James Murfree said while filling up his truck in Lawrenceville Monday. "It still doesn't make a huge difference, but it does put a little more in my pocket."
Snellville resident Chris Park also said it was "nice" that prices were dropping, but it still cost him over $60 to fill his tank.
Nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular gas came in at $3.49 Monday, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That number was almost 10 cents cheaper than a week ago.
Economist Philip Verleger told the Associated Press that dropping fuel prices equate to "a stimulus program for consumers," leaving them more money for clothes, dinners out and movies. Over a year, a 50 cents-per-gallon drop in gasoline prices would add roughly $70 billion to the U.S. economy, he said.
At the same time, those prices are dropping because of fears of something worse.
Prices for oil, gasoline and other commodities dove last week along with world stock markets over concerns the global economy is headed for another recession. When economies slow, demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel falls as drivers cut back on trips, shippers move fewer goods and vacationers stay closer to home.
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said he expects the latest drop in prices to stick around through most of the fall. The trend could reverse, however, if the world economy does not fall into a recession.
For now, though, Murfree said he was happy.
"I hope (gas prices) keep going down," he said.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this article