Drivers could be in for a little reprieve this fall, as experts forecast gas prices could drop meaningfully from current levels.
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According to AAA, the national average will decrease to $2.70 in the coming months, which is 14 cents less than the current average price and more than 25 cents less than the recorded high of the year – $2.97, set in May.
“Cheaper-to-produce gasoline and relatively stable crude oil prices in August, combined with an anticipated drop in consumer gasoline demand post-Labor Day, means consumers will see savings when they fill-up at the pump this fall,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said in a statement.
The average price of gasoline across the nation was about $2.84, as of Wednesday.
As the summer months come to an end, prices tend to fall with cyclical trends, including the switchover to the cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline in September and a reduction in road trips and vacations.
However, AAA’s upbeat outlook is sensitive to a number of outside influences, including oil prices, geopolitical tensions and “the mere threat of a hurricane,” Casselano added. Further, OPEC activity and the continued collapse of Venezuela’s economy could also affect prices.
The overall trend in 2018 has been a year-over-year increase in gasoline prices, where AAA notes the national average has been about 41 cents higher this year when compared to 2017. In some states, including California and Hawaii, average prices have been more than 50 cents higher when compared to last year. The prices that have seen the smallest increase include Nebraska (35 cents), Iowa and Louisiana (36 cents), and Missouri and South Dakota (37 cents).