WASHINGTON (WDVM) — According to AAA, fears of a COVID-19 global economic slowdown propelled oil prices into the mid $60s per barrel last week. Officials say this is a figure that has not been seen since August.
The national average for a gallon of gas dropped five cents last week to $3.34, while Maryland motorists saw prices decrease three cents week over week to $3.33.
“Consumers may be catching a break at the pump right now, but it’s not for a very good reason,” said Ragina C. Ali, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “A potential COVID-19 induced economic slowdown hurts everyone and could prompt OPEC to slash production if oil prices drop too low.”
According to AAA, gas costs influenced more than 20% of Maryland drivers to change their daily driving patterns.
“Although gas prices have dipped slightly in the past week or so, pump prices in general are still the highest they have been in seven years, prompting Maryland drivers to consolidate errands, carpool or otherwise limit daily driving,” said Ali.
Officails say, in Maryland, price is down four cents ($3.37) from last month, however, it is has increased 99 cents ($2.34) compared to last year.
“Interestingly, in a recent AAA poll, while nearly half of Maryland drivers surveyed indicated they have changed their driving behaviors because of pump prices, over a third stated they do not foresee changing their driving habits because of gas prices – even if gas prices were to climb above $4.00 a gallon,” Ali said.