AAA Predicts Less Expensive Gas Prices During Autumn
Barring any major natural disasters or political discord, gas prices are set to become less expensive during the fall season
Earlier this summer, consumers encountered the most expensive summer gas prices since 2014. In May, gas hit a yearly-high average price of $2.97 per gallon.
Fortunately, the average gas price is predicted to fall this, well, fall. AAA estimates that the average gas price will drop to $2.70 this autumn.
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Reasons for Seasonal Gas Price Shifts
That $2.70 pricetag is $0.14 less per gallon than gas was at the end of August. One major reason why gas prices are set to decline is due to gas stations switching over to their winter-blend in September.
Winter-blend gasoline has a higher Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), which means that it is easier to evaporate. Therefore, it is also cheaper to produce.
Another reason why gas is set to be cheaper is due to a decline in family travel during the fall. Those gas prices are likely to climb up once again around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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Gas Prices So Far This Year
Despite this welcome news, the year-to-date average price of gas is still up by $0.41 compared to last year. Right now, that year-to-date average price sits at $2.73 per gallon.
West coast states have experienced the largest gas price increases, with California’s average price of gas up by $0.57. Even in states like Missouri and South Dakota, gas is up by $0.37 per gallon compared to 2017.
Factors That Could Send Gas Prices Climbing
Of course, any number of factors could send gas prices back on an upward climb this fall. The geopolitical uncertainty in regions like the Middle East and Venezuela could affect the price of gasoline.
Even more likely, tropical storms and hurricanes like Hurricane Florence could greatly impact gas prices nationwide, as Hurricane Harvey did last year. For now, though, you can expect to spend less at the gas pump for the majority of the autumnal season.