Grim Forecast for High Summer Gas Prices May Come to Pass
In February, we reported that gas prices could reach $4 per gallon this summer, and that those living in metropolitan areas could see gas prices rise much higher. Tuesday, the federal government’s Energy Information Administration predicted that $3.95 will be the average price for a gallon of gas from April through September, but some analysts think these averages are too high.
According to the Associated Press, the $3.95 average is “an increase of 6.3 percent from the same period last year. ... The peak should come in May, when gas averages $4.01 per gallon, the agency said.”
While the government’s prediction meets early expectations that gas prices could reach $4 per gallon this summer, TIME and USA Today report that gas prices may have already peaked and are already falling. AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report as of today says that the average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.91 in the U.S., which is 3 cents less than it cost one week ago.
The price of a gallon of gas is falling more in some areas. “AAA Michigan says gasoline prices dropped about 13 cents during the past week to a statewide average of just over $3.90 per gallon,” the Detroit Free Press wrote Monday.
TIME says, “And prices are still dropping there: A gallon now costs $3.85 in Michigan, down from $3.90 on Monday. In Chicago, where a gallon ran $4.67 at the end of March, the average has come down to $4.33 per gallon of late.”
USA Today spoke with Patrick DeHann, senior analyst at gas price tracking website Gasbuddy.com, who says gas prices probably won’t increase more this summer. “By the behavior of the market, things are just running out of steam,” says DeHann. “Barring any major event — refinery problems, Iran — I think prices have peaked.” DeHann predicts that the national average could drop to $3.70 by early May, which is unusual because gas prices tend to peak before the Memorial Day traveling season.
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