Gasoline prices at the pump have dropped to their lowest in about a year and half, but could jump by 35% as soon as May, with output cuts by major oil producers expected to boost the price of oil, according to gasoline-price tracker GasBuddy.
The national average price for gallon of gasoline got its lowest start to a year since 2016, “when the national average was also near free fall and eventually hit $1.66 a gallon,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
At an average of $2.229 Wednesday (Jan. 2) afternoon, gasoline prices were at their cheapest since July 2, 2017, he said, adding that a price of $2.22 would be the lowest since President Donald Trump entered office, according to marketwatch.com.
Prices have declined “nearly every day for the last 80 or so,” DeHaan said. “Americans are spending $260 million less on gasoline today than they did some 80 days ago.”
GasBuddy’s 2019 gasoline forecast released Wednesday shows gasoline averaging $2.70 a gallon this year. That would mark a modest three-cent decline from the average for 2018.
Against that backdrop, GasBuddy expects average gasoline prices to creep up to $2.58 in March, and warned that “the national average could surge to over $3 per gallon as soon as May, with potential average of $2.97 that month. That would be a rise of roughly 35% from Wednesday’s level.”
“While the national average failed to hit $3 last year, we have an even stronger possibility of seeing that ugly possibility, which would push prices in some places from $1.99 today to over $3 this spring, which would be an impressive and shocking turnaround in just a few months,” said DeHaan.
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