A new report released by the U.S. Energy Department is forecasting gasoline prices could drop to its lowest level in close to six years. According to the report, the national average price is projected to fall 32 percent from a year ago to $2.45 a gallon between April and September. Marine manufacturers are hoping the decrease in fuel prices will lead to additional time out on the water.
The average price of gasoline in the U.S. was $2.387 a gallon Monday, down 33 percent from last year, according to AAA and GasBuddy.com.
The report also indicated that the personal savings rate climbed to 5.8 percent in February from 4.4 percent in November. Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at OPIS predicts that gasoline could dip below the two dollar mark later this summer.
“Lower gas prices means more money in the pockets of our customers which in turn leads to more time out on the water,” said John Pfeifer, Mercury Marine president. “We know that gas prices fluctuate and won’t bank on this being commonplace forever, but we hope that as prices drop, more families take to the water more often & for longer periods of time.”
According to GasBuddy.com, South Carolina has the lowest average gasoline prices at $2.087 per gallon of regular unleaded fuel. Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey and Louisiana make up the top five. Broken down into cities, Chattanooga, Tennessee has the lowest price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel at $2.03 per gallon.
“Last year at this time we were paying an average of $3.60 for a gallon of gas and now the average is under $2.40 a gallon – that’s an incredible savings to the consumer,” said Pfeifer. “Think about the amount of fuel you put in your boat and how much of a savings that can be this summer. With a few hundred extra dollars in your pocket, boaters can go out on the water more or buy additional parts and accessories that they hadn’t budgeted for. Low gas prices are great for everyone, especially the marine industry.”