Gas prices down, Myrtle Beach has lowest in the state - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Gas prices down, Myrtle Beach has lowest in the state

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Myrtle Beach, SC (WMBF)- Hitting a record low for the first time in two years, gas prices are down around the country. The reason behind it may surprise you.

The prices we're seeing now could be an after-effect of the Government Shutdown. AAA believes during that time, consumer spending was down. Gas prices are fueled by supply and demand. So, prices went down as well.

Added to the mix is a slow hurricane season. In the past,oil rigs have shut down due to impending storms, spiking oil prices. However, our coast continues to have a quiet season, minimizing threats to the rigs and your wallet.

Locally, taxes play a part in the pump price tag.

"Typically in South Carolina, we trend lower than most other states," said Tracie Lawrence, the branch manager for AAA in Myrtle Beach. "And frankly, that's because of our taxes. We have lower taxes here, and lower taxes on gas. So, that affects the gas prices."

The Grand Strand is seeing the lowest prices in the state.

According to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, Myrtle Beach has an average of $2.97 a gallon compared to $3.04 a year ago.

It isn't clear how long the low prices will last, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner.

"Usually summer is the highest," explained Lawrence. "But we do see an increase around the holidays. More people are driving, on the road for Thanksgiving especially." 

It's a big drive time for a lot of families, and the demand could drive up costs.

AAA is seeing a trend in international travel this year. If more people fly instead of drive, the low prices could stick around for awhile. 

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