Projections indicate a decline in gas prices for the second consecutive year, forecasting substantial relief for American consumers and an estimated savings of $32 billion on fuel expenses.
Experts in the oil industry have outlined expectations, forecasting an average gas price of $3.38 per gallon throughout 2024. This stands as a marked improvement compared to the $3.51 per gallon average witnessed this year and a significant drop from the 2022 average of $3.95 per gallon.
Recent fluctuations in temperatures presented challenges in the fuel production process, impacting the refining of crude oil. Gas stations nationwide responded by raising prices by an average of 26 cents per gallon over the past month due to the slowdown in necessary cooling processes for oil refinement.
Despite the lingering tensions from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the potential spillover of the Israel-Hamas situation, industry analysts at GasBuddy remain optimistic about forthcoming relief for drivers in the coming year.
GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, Patrick De Haan, expressed confidence in the forecast, stating, “Next year should represent a continued march towards what most Americans would consider normal prices at the pump,” in an interview with CNN.
The projected decrease in gas prices signals positive prospects for consumers, potentially offering the White House a cautious optimism amid ongoing efforts to convey its economic agenda to a skeptical public, as highlighted by CNN analysts.
The anticipated decline in gas prices could also offer the Federal Reserve an opportunity in its mission to navigate a soft landing for the US economy, aiming to control inflation without triggering a recession. While gas prices are not directly included in the Fed’s “core” inflation measurements, their observation remains crucial in monetary policy decisions.
De Haan further noted, Gas prices may still be a bit elevated, but considering wage growth, it is taking less of Americans’ hard-earned income to afford a gallon of gasoline.
GasBuddy’s analysis does not foresee gas prices hitting the $4 mark in any single month throughout the upcoming year.
Acknowledged as an energy powerhouse globally, the US leads in oil production, surpassing all other nations, according to S&P Global Insights.
Reflecting on GasBuddy’s forecast from December 2022, which anticipated a $3.49 per gallon average for 2023, the accuracy is striking, with the actual average gas price for the year reaching $3.51 per gallon.