Low gas prices are bringing happy faces to customers pumping their own gas at places like the Irving station at the junction of Union Avenue and Messer Street, where the per gallon price dropped to $1.67 yesterday according to the Gas Buddy website.
“I don’t travel that much, but I’m filling my tank today because I”m driving to the airport in Manchester to pick up my daughter. It’s nice having prices this low,” said June Houle of Laconia.
At the next pump, Diane Carr of Meredith said that as far as she’s concerned the low prices are “great. I came over here after I saw a $1.89 price on Parade Road. I shop around and this was the best price I could find “ said Carr.
“This is having a huge impact on me,” said Ben Peaslee of Gilmanton, a construction worker who drives every day to a job in Northern Vermont. He said that last year at this time he was spending $150 a week on gas and now he’s down to about $60 a week for his truck, which gets only 12-and a-half-miles a gallon.
Kim Perkins, an accountant who has clients ranging from Center Harbor to Newburyport, Massachusetts, said that a year ago it cost her $56 to fill the tank of her Ford Escort and now it’s in the $26 to $28 range, which she says is a giant savings for her.
It’s the same story all along Route 106 from Laconia to Loudon, where Gas Buddy reports the lowest gas prices in the state can be found, $1.55 at the EZ Stop across from the south entryway at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, $1.59 at Penguin Fuel at Route 106 and Shaker Road and $1.65 at Penguin Fuels on Route 106 just north of the Route 140 intersection.
“’It’s good anytime customers save money at the gas pump. That means they have more money to spend on other things, like a candy bar or a car wash,” said Dave DeVoy, who owns and operates the Gilford Mobil Mart as well as the Bosco Bell and Blueberry Station convenience stores in Barnstead.
He says that the lower prices don’t impact his bottom line, as he’s paying less for the gasoline than he was a year ago, and he thinks it’s providing a good boost to the local economy by increasing consumer spending.
Statewide, Gas Buddy reports the average price is $1.84, just a penny above the national average, and that the price per barrel of oil is the $30 range, compared with the $90 to $100 range of two years ago.
The drop in per-barrel prices is also having a big impact on home heating oil prices, according to Curtis Stafford of Stafford Oil, who says that his price is $1.739 per gallon right now for a delivery of 125 gallons or more, compared to $2.589 per gallon last year at the same time, a drop of over 30 percent.’
“People think we’re making less than we were when prices are higher, but it’s absolutely the opposite. People can now afford to have their fuel tanks filled, rather than partial deliveries, so we’re making fewer trips. Our delivery trucks use diesel, and we’re saving money there as well. The fuel oil dealers love it, “ says Stafford.
He says that lower prices have allowed many customers to save their money and spend it on other things, which has a positive impact on the local economy.
Benjamin Wilson, a financial adviser with Edward Jones Investments, says that company analysts say that the average consumer saved $550 last year due to lower gas prices and that has had a major positive impact on the on American economy.
“People have more money to spend on goods and services and since two-thirds of the American economy is tied to consumer spending that’s a big boost. If you multiply the amount of your increased spending by the millions of other Americans who are also saving money on gas, you can see that you and you and your fellow consumers are are likely adding billions of dollars to the economy.”
He said that from an investment standpoint it is important not to overreact to what may prove to be a temporary development.
“The recent decline in oil prices has certainly had an economic impact, but no one can predict how long these prices will stay low or what other factors may arise that would affect the financial markets.”
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