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Chicago Bucks National Trend, Sees Dip In Gas Prices

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Gas Pumping

Gasoline pump. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago’s gas prices are still higher than the national average, but there is some good news. Though gas prices are jumping across the country, in Chicago, they have gone down in recent weeks.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, it’s unusual but welcoming news for Chicago drivers.

While the national average for gas prices has gone up in the past month, the Chicago average has gone down.

“As you see, I’m watching the tank, because I don’t want to go over a certain amount,” motorist L.V. Mayfield said as she pumped gas Monday morning.

No matter where you live in the country, you’re watching the prices because it’s more expensive now to fuel your car, than compared to one year ago.

“I want to fill up, but I can’t,” Mayfield said. “I’m still unemployed, I’m looking for work, and so I have to be careful about spending.”

Driver Akta Sehga said, paying for gas “unfortunately cuts my budget a lot, because I’m actually, am a resident and so, unfortunately we don’t really make a lot of money.”

But, for Chicagoans known to pay some of the highest gas prices in the U.S., there’s a silver lining.

While the national average for gas prices has gone up 12.3 cents per gallon in the last month, Chicago has seen a dip of 8.8 cents per gallon from one month ago.

“I’m really shocked, because, I mean, since I moved to Chicago, gas prices have actually been unbelievably high, so I’m definitely shocked,” said Sehga. “But, I mean, it’s a good thing for us, so we’re happy to hear that.”

Larry Rogers said, “We’re going down to meet the national average. It’s not a true decrease. The question is why were we so high in the first place?”

Chicago gas prices are still 16 cents higher than the national average.

Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for the AAA Motor Club in Chicago, explained why prices have been falling locally, but not nationally.

“Demand for oil is at a 10 year low … and refineries are really cutting down on production and, so, that’s why we’re seeing these prices come down a little bit,” Mosher said.

As for why the national average is still going up, Mosher said, “places like California are way, way up.”

So will Chicago’s gas prices continue to fall?

“Trends tell us that, as we head into the spring and into the summer months, trends would show us that prices go up,” Mosher said.

Even with the recent positive trend, Chicago drivers still pay more than most of the nation for gas.

The average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Chicago is $3.63. The national average is 3.47.

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