The summer’s highest national average retail pump price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.97 and came on the Memorial Day holiday weekend. AAA on Wednesday forecast that once the Labor Day holiday weekend is over, gas prices will fall further from an average of around $2.84 today to $2.70, more than 25 cents a gallon less than Americans were paying when the summer began.
For the year to date, gas prices have averaged $2.73 a gallon, some 41 cents a gallon more than the 2017 national average. The falling price is due partly to the seasonal switch to cheaper winter-grade fuel that begins in mid-September and partly to lower demand following the summer driving season.
AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said:
Cheaper-to-produce gasoline and relatively stable crude oil prices in August, combined with an anticipated drop in consumer gasoline demand post-Labor Day, means consumers will see savings when they fill-up at the pump this fall. However, several outliers can reverse this forecast, including crude oil prices, geopolitical tensions and the mere threat of a hurricane.
States where gas prices are currently highest compared to last year are California (up 57 cents), Hawaii (up 54 cents), Indiana (up 49 cents), Arizona (up 48 cents), Oregon (up 46 cents), Connecticut (up 45 cents), Rhode Island (up 45 cents), Utah (up 45 cents) and Massachusetts (up 44 cents).
States where the difference is smallest compared to last year are South Dakota (up 37 cents), Missouri (up 37 cents), Louisiana (up 36 cents), Iowa (up 36 cents) and Nebraska (up 35 cents).
AAA also has released its Gas Watcher’s Guide for 2018, which includes a number of tips for drivers when they stop for another tank of gas. Among these is not to buy premium gasoline unless your engine requires it, don’t top off your tank and keep track of your fuel economy.