Gas prices take double-digit drop in Carolinas, around nation as inflation surges

CHARLOTTE — Gas prices are steadily falling in the Charlotte area and around the country due to lower demand, analysts say. One month ago, a gallon of gas cost $4.63 a gallon in Charlotte and $4.67 across the state. As of Wednesday, it’s 30 cents cheaper in Charlotte and around 40 cents cheaper in the state compared to June 13.

The statewide average is $4.28 a gallon while the average in Charlotte sits at $4.33. The average for a gallon of gas in South Carolina costs $4.14, which is the cheapest in the country.

Nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $4.72, down 12 cents from last week. Drivers were paying $3.14 a gallon on average a year ago at this time.

We found some Charlotte gas stations offering regular unleaded for less than $4 per gallon. Two of those stations were at club memberships, like Sam’s Club and Costco.

But the lower prices aren’t across the board -- for example, one station in University City is $4.39 per gallon.

Analysts say supply and demand dynamics, coupled with decreasing oil prices, have pushed pump prices lower. But the trend could be short-lived as more Americans hit the road during the peak of the summer driving season.

US inflation surges again in June, raising risks for economy

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you’re not alone -- prices for just about everything are up dramatically, and have been for months. Gas, food and rent prices have all soared, putting the squeeze on the household budgets of many families.

Those rising prices are forcing many to make tough choices.

According to the June federal report, inflation is up 9.1% from a year ago. From gas to groceries, economists say we’re all are shelling out an extra $493 per month. Food at home rose by more than 12%, housing is up 5.6%, energy prices are up 41% and gas prices accounted for the biggest hike with costs up almost 60%.

Karen Martin told Channel 9 as a single mom, she’s feeling the pinch.

“I’m not making ends meet, I’m not making it, I’m spending my savings,” she said. “I get paid tomorrow. And already my whole paycheck is spoken for. And it’s the first time my life I’ve had to apply for food stamps, because I don’t know how we’re going to continue eating groceries.”

Wednesday’s inflation numbers are the worst they’ve been since 1981, but now, the attention shifts to how to bring those numbers down.

The Biden Administration claims the numbers from the inflation report are out of date and don’t reflect 30 days of declining gas prices. Still, some economists believe inflation might be reaching a short-term peak.

But more pain could be coming as the Federal Reserve tries to cool down inflation by raising interest rates. A member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors says we could see a full percentage point rate increase. That would cost families more on their credit card bills and mortgages.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper spoke about inflation on Wednesday, and the efforts that are underway for families to see relief.

“We’ve been encouraging the Biden Administration to take action,” he said. “They’ve worked with ports and other transporters to try to open up bottlenecks to lower the cost of transporting goods that will eventually lower the price.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(WATCH BELOW: Sheetz lowers some gas prices to as low as $3.49/gallon ahead of holiday weekend)