Gas prices have dropped 10 cents on average in the past week, according to AAA, the largest national motoring group. On Wednesday, the average price for a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.521, down about 26 cents from a month ago.
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"We have been on a steady road toward cheaper gas prices nationwide," Tom Kloza, chief analyst at Oil Price Information Systems, told USA Today. "The storm could mean a small wobble to the upside for a few days, but I suspect prices will resume their downward trend."
Hurricane Sandy forced the idling of about 70 percent of oil refineries on the East Coast, according to a report from IHS Global Insight. IHS predicts that gas prices may rise slightly in Sandy’s wake, but any impact on prices at the pump are likely to be relatively short-term, according to research firm Seeking Alpha. Damage to refineries was relatively minor, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Journal pointed out that Sandy hit during a time of year when demand for gas is traditionally 5 percent lower than in months like July and August. This indicates that any slowdown in supply for gas due to the storm will be met with a decrease in demand as well.
Before Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S., gas prices were steadily declining from this summer's record-highs.