Gas stations are actually benefitting from falling prices

By Ed Zwirn

Read in (New York Post Jan. 24, 2016)

If you own a gas station in the New York metropolitan area, things may be looking up — even as the price of your product is falling.

Nationwide, a gallon of unleaded regular stood at an average $1.85 as of Jan. 22, down from $2.04 a year ago, according to AAA.

This trend is mirrored in New York, with prices in the city declining from $2.51 to $2.22 ($2.11 statewide).

In Connecticut, a gallon of regular will set you back an average $2.02 (down from $2.33) and in New Jersey, the average stands at $1.72, down from $1.95.

Not surprisingly, this has coincided with a modest increase in consumption. Nationwide, Americans burned up about 2.8 percent more gas in 2015 (2.9 percent on the East Coast), according to Timothy Hess, lead analyst for short-term demand at the US Energy Information Administration. And that modest increase is boosting gas station owners’ net profit margins.

“When sales go up, gas stations can spread out some of their fixed costs,“ says Sageworks analyst Libby Berman. “At the same time, stations with convenience stores are selling more food and drinks because more people are stopping by.”


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About Ed Zwirn

Ed Zwirn is a journalist/editorial professional with a focus on financial trends and practices. He lives out in the woods in Bethel, NY, not far from where the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival was held in 1969. As a financial writer, his work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, CFO Magazine and news services including Dow Jones Newswires and Informa Global Markets. Ed also spent three years in Ukraine, where he ran an English-language news service. He now divides his time between his freelance journalism, song and poetry writing, and barbequing and lawn-mowing on his 2.5 acre property.