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October 8, 2013

Gas prices continue to fall

Price decline will continue, expert says

Gasoline prices have dropped 19 cents in New Hampshire and 23 cents in Massachusetts in only a month, but people gassing up at the pumps yesterday remained pessimistic.

They know that in a blink of an eye, prices could skyrocket again. After all, gas prices in New Hampshire were, on average, 41 cents higher at this time last year.

A series of damaging storms across the country and problems at some of the nation’s top refineries a year ago prompted the price hike, according to Gregg Laskoski, an analyst with GasBuddy.com.

Tensions in the Middle East — a major petroleum source — have subsided, he said. Unrest in Egypt and Syria caused prices to increase substantially this summer.

But prices have dropped 4 cents a gallon in the past week in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and will continue to drop — even through Columbus Day weekend, Laskoski said.

Consumers aren’t convinced they’re getting a good deal at the pumps.

Ron Love of Salem, filling up at Salem Express on South Broadway yesterday, said the prices were still too high.

“These are not low gas prices,” he said. “I’m not happy with $3.39.”

Jared Marsh, 20, of Plaistow agreed.

“No, it’s still a lot,” he said.

GasBuddy.com tracks daily gasoline prices at 875 retailers in New Hampshire, where the average price yesterday was $3.44 a gallon for regular gas. The national average was $3.38 per gallon.

The average price for a gallon of regular was $3.43 per gallon in Massachusetts, according to AAA. They averaged $3.88 a gallon a year ago.

Kellie Farrington, 41, of Hampstead, was happy with the price drop.

“I definitely noticed,” she said. “It’s nice to see the prices have been coming down.”

In late July, the average price was $3.71 a gallon in the Bay State as the state Legislature was in the midst of raising the gas tax by 3 cents a gallon and tying future increases to inflation.

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