MIAMI COUNTY — Gas prices have hit a multi-year low across the country and in the state of Ohio, and experts say they could continue to decline throughout 2016.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the national average for a gallon of gas dropped to $1.91 Saturday, the cheapest average price at the pump since 2009. A year ago, the average national price was about $2.14.
The average price in Ohio is well below the national average this week at $1.76 a gallon, according to fuel analysts like GasBuddy.com. Last year, the state average price per gallon was $1.90; in 2011, it was $4.15.
Ohio drivers are enjoying the 13th least expensive gas prices in the country, not far behind states like Missouri (in first place at $1.66) and Oklahoma ($1.70), AAA reported. In the last week, average prices in Ohio have dropped 16 cents.
In some areas of Miami County, prices have dipped below $1.60 for a gallon of regular gas this week. As good as that is, analysts say that the price of gas could drop even further over the course of the year.
Experts predict that Americans will spend about $17 billion less on gasoline in the year ahead.
Cindy Howard weighed in on a Troy Daily News Facebook post asking what readers would do with the money they save on gas.
“Spend more at Kroger,” she wrote.
Consumers saved $134 billion on gasoline in 2015 versus what was paid for gas in 2014, GasBuddy reported.
Nationally, the price of a gallon of regular averaged $3.60 for all of 2012, $1.64 more than it is right now. For 2016 as a whole, experts like GasBuddy are forecasting a country-wide average of $2.28 per gallon, down from $2.40 in 2015.
Gasoline prices are driven mostly by factors like oil prices, proximity to refineries, refinery capacity and state taxes and levies.