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‘Definitely a nice change from a few months ago’

What a difference three months can make.

Gas prices in Massachusetts have now dropped 25% over the last 90 days, according to this week’s update from AAA Northeast.

After pump prices skyrocketed to a record-high average of $5.04 per gallon in mid-June, regular gas prices have continued to fall on a daily basis. The Bay State’s gas average on Monday was down to $3.80 a gallon, 12 cents cheaper than a week ago. Some pockets of the state are close to averaging under $3.50 a gallon.

“Gas prices continue to slide,” Mark Schieldrop of AAA Northeast told the Herald on Monday. “We’re closing in on three straight months of gas price declines, which is pretty remarkable.

“It’s great to see lower prices out there,” he added. “You can definitely get gas for well under $3.80 a gallon if you drive around. It’s definitely a nice change from a few months ago.”

The state’s gas price average has plummeted 50 cents in just one month. The national average price fell seven cents in the past week to reach $3.71, a level not seen since the beginning of March when Russia started its invasion of Ukraine and prices surged.

“As our prices are falling, we’re starting to see a narrowing of the gap from New England to the rest of the country, so that’s good,” Schieldrop said.

The primary reason for the gas price decline is the lower cost for oil as demand plummets. China’s COVID lockdowns are continuing to keep demand much quieter there.

Demand in the U.S. has been significantly lower than last year.

“That’s pretty substantial since we’re a year further out from the start of the pandemic,” Schieldrop said. “The anticipation had been that demand would far outpace 2021, but we’re 900,000 barrels a day lower than we were in 2021.”

One year ago, Massachusetts’ average gas price was $3.08 per gallon.

“It shows we’re still paying more for gas than last year by a decent margin,” Schieldrop said, noting that prices should continue to move toward that $3.08 figure from last year. The winter blend of gas is cheaper to produce, so that should also help prices go down.

“Double-digit decreases a week are nice, but you can’t count on them forever,” he added.

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