Gas and oil prices further decline

Motorists can let out a big sigh of relief as gas and oil prices continue to fall this week.

The average price of regular unleaded gasoline in Georgia is $3.31, compared to last week's average price of $3.46, according to Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club South. The national average price of regular unleaded gas is $3.46, compared to $3.57 last week.

Crude oil settled at $79.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Sept. 23, said Brady. This price is $8.11 less than the week prior, and it's the first time oil stayed below $80 a barrel due to a lag in fuel demand and ongoing concerns in the economy.

"Continued news of sluggish economies in the world's largest oil producing countries has both oil and gas prices retreating," she said. "A weakened euro and increased output in Libya are also pushing prices lower."

Oil production in Libya, she said, continued an output quota of nearly 600 million barrels a day. Libyan quotas are expected to get to 1 million barrels a day in the next six months. "All of which drove down oil and gas prices throughout the past month," she said.

Brady said gas and oil prices are expected to continue their downward slope, since there is currently no immediate action to spark both the U.S. and European economies during a time when fuel demand continues to lag.

"China's manufacturing index fell again for the third straight month and now Europe's manufacturing is starting to lag as well," she added.