Gas prices could fluctuate up or down, depending on the COVID relief bill status

Lawmakers are trying to pass another round of coronavirus relief legislation. If a deal gets done, GasBuddy says that could make gas prices increase in the immediate future. The opposite would be true if a deal is not done by the election.

“It would bode positively on the economy and that could boost prices in the short term, although we’ll have to see what the details look like. It could get Americans back to work in some capacity. The big thing to look at is the airlines and some of the struggling sectors. Will there be any support for people who have lost their jobs?,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “If we do get a deal, we may see prices above the $2 per gallon mark for the majority of the winter, probably in the low $2 to $2.25.”

DeHaan said unless a deal gets done, average gas prices will likely be at their current levels or drop for the fourth straight month.

“Without the deal, we could see prices fall into the upper $1 range. I do expect demand to continue to drop, but the stimulus could offset that. We may continue to see us stuck in this territory until there’s a meaningful change in our COVID-19 outlook,” said DeHaan.

Some stations could go through a price cycle this week since many didn’t have a price hike last week.

“We could get a price cycle later this week or early next week since we didn’t get one last week, but it’s really not known. If you’re low on fuel, shop around and find one of those cheap stations,” said DeHaan. “Whatever you pay will be cheaper than what you were paying at this time last year.”

GasBuddy says the statewide average for gas is $2.04 per gallon. At this time last year, the statewide average was $2.59.

Around Warsaw and Kosciusko County, cash prices have been averaging between $1.91 and $1.98 while credit prices have gone between $1.98 and $2.14.