Fuel experts project higher gas prices in 2019

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Gasoline prices are displayed as a man rides his bicycle past them at a station Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. U.S. retail gasoline prices rose less than a penny Monday to a national average of $3.57 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. A gallon of regular is 19 cents higher than it was a month ago and 40 cents more than a year ago.(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Special to the
Opelika Observer

GasBuddy, a Boston-based tech company, predicts that 2019 will feature a yearly national average of $2.70 per gallon, representing a 3-cent drop versus 2018, but warns that the national average could surge to more than $3 per gallon as soon as May.
Some highlights from GasBuddy’s 2019 Fuel Price Outlook include:

  • the nation’s yearly gasoline bill will fall to $386 billion dollars, a drop of $2.5 billion from last year as the average household sees their annual gasoline spending fall slightly to $1,991, down $25 from 2018.
  • the national average is forecasted to rise as much as $1 per gallon from a low in January to a possible peak in May, but economic jitters could weigh heavily on where gas prices go in 2019.
  • more than 90 percent of the country’s largest metro areas are at risk for seeing average prices hit $3 per gallon, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
  • how accurate was GasBuddy’s 2018 Forecast? Assembled in late 2017, the forecast called for a yearly national average of $2.57 per gallon with a peak of $2.89 per gallon in April. 2018 ended with a yearly national average of $2.73 per gallon with a peak of $2.98 per gallon on May 24.
    “While the bargain basement gas prices we’ve been seeing in areas across the country have been terrific and most welcomed, the party at the pump will likely wrap up in the next month or two, and prices will begin to rally as OPEC production cuts and a strong U.S. economy push gas prices back up. While the national average failed to hit $3 last year, we have an even stronger possibility of seeing that ugly possibility, which would push prices in some places from $1.99 today to over $3 this spring- which would be an impressive and shocking turnaround in just a few months,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “One caveat however, that may have motorists unexpectedly spending less- is what happens in the White House. Should all the darkest realities come to fruition, it could lead to slow down in the economy and take gas prices right along with it. As goes the economy, as go gas prices in the year ahead. Buckle up for the extra volatility we’re going to see- it could be nauseating.”
    For those making resolutions, GasBuddy suggests shopping around at the pump and driving less aggressively: the savings could add up to $477 per year, or roughly $10 per tank. In addition, motorists can use GasBuddy’s in-app Drives feature to help reduce their yearly fuel bill by showing them how their driving style stacks up.
    About GasBuddy
    GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their “Perfect Pit Stop.” As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $4.5 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017. The company’s business solutions suite, GasBuddy Business Pages, provides Fuel Marketers and Retailers their best opportunity to maintain their station information, manage their brand, and promote to their target consumer audience.
    For more information or to see the full report, visit www.gasbuddy.com.

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