Gas Prices Down, Expected To Keep Falling

Gas prices have dropped and it looks like they’ll keep on dropping, say gas industry analysts.

“For now six straight weeks we’ve seen the national average price of gasoline decline, and after last week’s escalation in the trade battle between the U.S. and China, it’s possible that the streak continues longer than previously anticipated as oil markets react to the news, sending oil lower,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

Locally, gas prices have been hovering between $2.30 and $2.40 per gallon.

The Indiana gas average is $2.47 per gallon, which is down 10 cents from where it was this time last week. In Indianapolis, the average is $2.41, although there are several stations in the city selling it for $2.21 and less.

DeHaan also says drivers will see the cheapest end to the summer since 2016 with Labor Day right around the corner.

“Gas prices will likely decline even more substantially starting in mid-September as most of the nation begins the transition back to cheaper winter gasoline starting September 16. Fall will bring plenty of falling gas prices, so long as there remains turmoil between the U.S. and China,” DeHaan said.

Trilby Lundberg, gas analyst and publisher of the Lundberg Survey, agrees. She says it also helps that gasoline supply is so plentiful.

“Our refiners in the aggregate are still running at close to 96% of total capacity even with the loss of that east coast refinery in Pennsylvania. Stocks are also abundant,” Lundberg said.

That doesn’t mean, however, that prices may not jump in the coming days. DeHaan says if your gas tank is close to empty, now is the time to fill up.

“The problem is that some of those cheap stations are selling it at or below cost and that’s usually what triggers a correction. Don’t be surprised if, in the next 48 hours, gas prices jump to $2.65 or $2.75 a gallon, but don’t worry. After they go up, they’ll start coming back down as they always do,” DeHaan said.

DeHaan said overall you can expect low prices to continue in the fall, barring the weekly price cycling that happens in the area. DeHaan said gas prices could go higher if there is a trade deal between the U.S. and China.

“Of course, I think most of us would rather see the economy do better and pay a little bit more at the pump,” DeHaan said.