Drivers may see ‘brief respite’ in gas prices ahead

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**FILE**A gasoline station attendant pumps gas in this July 13, 2006 file photo in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Gasoline prices are starting to drop after 11 weeks as the nation enters the spring season. According to GasBuddy data, the national average price of gasoline posted a drop of 0.3 cents from a week ago to $2.86 per gallon Monday. The data was compiled from more than 11 million price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations nationwide.

“With oil prices finally sagging over the last week on inflation fears and worries about a surge in COVID-19 cases in Europe impacting oil demand, motorists filling their tanks may soon see a brief respite from rising gas prices,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

De Haan said gas prices still rose in most states last week as gasoline demand increased to its highest level since the pandemic began. He said concerns that oil demand growth will stall with COVID-19 cases surging in Europe are eroding oil’s recent rise.

AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee said gas price increases have slowed down due to a dip in demand and a simultaneous increase in supply and refinery utilization. Her agency said the national average is the highest price since May 2019.

“On the week, 32 states had increases of only 3 cents or less. This does not mean gas prices have hit their peak, but is a positive sign for consumers,” McGee said.

Despite the brief respite, De Haan said motorists should expect to see gas prices continue to soar as we enter the summer driving season.

“It’ll be a bumpy road the next few weeks as markets sort out the bearish and bullish factors, but I still believe prices will likely experience more upward momentum ahead of Memorial Day,” he said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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