Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Economy

Gas Prices Down Sharply In San Diego As Coronavirus Restrictions Cut Demand

A car is shown at a gas station near the San Diego State University campus on Sept. 5, 2018.
Megan Wood
A car is shown at a gas station near the San Diego State University campus on Sept. 5, 2018.

San Diego’s average gas price is down about 50 cents a gallon in the past month, primarily because COVID-19 restrictions mean state residents are not driving nearly as much.

The American Automobile Club of Southern California says the state’s shelter-in-place order has lowered consumer demand for gas.

With fewer people driving, refineries have tried to cut back on production, but they have not been able to do that fast enough to keep inventory from building up.

Gas Prices Down Sharply In San Diego As Coronavirus Restrictions Cut Demand
Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

RELATED:Job Losses Stagger San Diego’s Economy

“As long as we have a lot of inventory and as long as demand is continuing to decrease, or as long as their production levels are trying to catch up with this reduced demand, we’re going to see prices going down,” said Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the club.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas in San Diego is around $2.88, which is down 50 cents a gallon in the last month.

Auto Club officials thought prices were stabilizing last week when prices only dropped a little bit.

“The week before we saw a double-digit decrease,” Spring said. “Last week we saw a single-digit decrease, the rate like 6 cents a gallon or 3 cents a gallon in some places around Southern California. And this time, again, we’re seeing double-digit decreases. So it may have been a plateau and it may be another drop off the cliff.”

California is still paying more than the rest of the nation when customers go to the pump. The national average-cost per gallon remains a dollar lower than California’s average price.