As we usher in the new year, there’s a glimmer of hope for drivers across the United States – lower gas prices. According to GasBuddy’s latest forecast, the average price at the pump is expected to be around $3.38 per gallon, a 13-cent decrease compared to last year. This decrease is a relief after the sky-high prices that plagued us two years ago when drivers were forced to shell out nearly $5 per gallon nationwide.
But what’s behind this expected decrease in gas prices? Expert analysts attribute it to the United States’ remarkable position as a powerhouse in oil production. The country’s ability to yield more crude oil than any other nation provides a cushion against potential disruptions, such as hurricanes damaging refineries or OPEC cutting its supply.
Patrick De Haan, the lead petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, comments, “We are in a recovery phase from events such as the pandemic, which caused numerous imbalances and triggered significant inflation. Thankfully, these issues are beginning to subside, and in some instances, we’re even seeing a reversal. There’s an emerging trend of disinflation, which is partly because the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which started nearly two years ago, has not had a substantial effect on oil production.”
As we look ahead to 2024, it’s worth noting that it is an election year. However, contrary to popular belief, experts at GasBuddy suggest that changing gas prices has less to do with politics and more to do with the seasons. Historically, prices tend to rise during spring and decrease during fall each year.
From a nationwide perspective, GasBuddy’s projections indicate that gas prices will not reach the $4 average mark in 2024. Instead, they predict prices will peak at $3.67 per gallon in May and drop as low as $2.99 on average by December.
While these predictions offer some respite for drivers, it’s important to remember that numerous factors, including global events, economic conditions, and environmental policies influence gas prices. As we embark on this new year, we can only hope for stability and affordable prices at the pump, allowing us to focus on our journeys rather than worrying about the cost of fuel.”