MEMPHIS, TN— Gas prices are on the decline nationwide and even more so in the Mid-South.
One south Memphis gas station is selling gas for less than $3 a gallon. On Saturday, October 8, 2011, it was causing long lines and hot tempers.
Several people were cutting in line and fists were almost flying, all because that gas station is the cheapest in Memphis.
Happy drivers didn't mind waiting in line for the chance at cheaper gas.
"It's been crowded all day. Absolutely worth it,” said Robert Flowers.
The MAPCO station located at the corner of Third and Brooks was so busy, it ran out of gas a half a dozen times this week. It even ran out Saturday.
People kept coming back even when they didn't have to fill up. They were afraid prices would go up.
"It just went up 2 cents this morning," said Flowers.
What's behind the lower fuel prices?
"The economic recovery in the U.S. is still pretty weak and we're not adding nearly enough jobs, so that’s putting a general downward demand including gasoline,” said University of Memphis Economic Professor Doug Campbell.
Campbell says another reason for cheaper prices: summer travel is over.
“Gas prices tend to decline in the fall. People stop traveling after Labor Day,” said Campbell.
A gallon of gas will cost you about $3.17 in Memphis except at the MAPCO, the price is $2.96 for a gallon of unleaded fuel. As the U.S. economy gets stronger and more people find jobs these low prices will disappear.
“That's going to push demand a bit higher. Also with the strong growth in China and other developing countries, they want to have more cars so they use more gas,” said Campbell.
Last year a gallon of regular gasoline in Memphis costs $2.62. Even though the price is down compared to this summer, we are still paying more than we did last year.
The average price of a regular gallon of gas in Tennessee is $3.19. In Mississippi it's $3.21 and in Arkansas $3.25.