Cheap oil doesn’t only mean cheaper gas in the tank. It means that a car dealer in Illinois is shuffling the inventory of models he’ll be selling, that more students in Wisconsin may get school-provided iPads, that some planned projects in a Southern California city will get delayed, and that some expected oilfield hiring in North Dakota and Texas may not happen.
Minnesota drivers are paying 7 cents less per gallon than a week ago. The state’s average is now $1.93, which makes it the sixth-cheapest state in the country for gas currently.
In the new year, Minnesota drivers are paying more at the pumps than a year ago. The average price statewide is $3.24 a gallon. That compares to $3.07 this time last year.
The worst may be over for drivers in the upper Midwest who have been grappling with the highest gasoline prices in the continental U.S. Analysts said one major Illinois refinery is back online and another big one in Indiana is on track to ramp up production again soon.
Gas prices are finally falling. They just dropped for the third day in a row. Nationwide, the average for a gallon of regular grade is down to $3.86.
Higher fuel prices may be applying brakes to the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states. A monthly survey index of rural bankers dropped to 57.1 in April from 59.8 in March.