Gas falls below $4 a gallon on average for the first time since March, analysis shows

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell below $4 for the first time since early March, according to analysis by GasBuddy.

Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy, posted a YouTube video explaining where he thinks gas prices are heading.

“I believe, for now at least, that the national average will continue to decline…probably will decline another 10 or 25 cents per gallon over the next two weeks,” he said.

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However, he warned that hurricane season could push prices up again.

Meanwhile, the AAA auto club has the national average at $4.01 a gallon. AAA said record gasoline prices kept many drivers off the road for much of the summer.

Gasoline prices rose from $5 a gallon, on average, in mid-June to $4.20 late last month, and were just $4.01 on Wednesday, according to AAA. Oil prices have also fallen and cheaper gas is also expected to lower inflation this month, economists said.

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“Petroleum is the primary ingredient in gasoline, so cheaper petroleum is helpful in controlling pump prices,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a news release. “Add that to fewer drivers filling up, and you have a recipe for gas prices to keep falling.”

Declines in travel-related prices last month helped reduce underlying inflation, a measure that excludes the volatile food and energy categories and provides a clearer picture of underlying price trends. . Core prices rose just 0.3% from June, the smallest month-over-month increase since March. Compared to a year ago, core inflation rose to 5.9% in July, the same year-on-year increase as in June.

But there is optimism that inflation may have peaked.

Consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July from a year earlier, the government said on Wednesday, compared with a 9.1% year-on-year increase in June. On a monthly basis, prices remained unchanged from June to July, the first time this has happened after 25 months of increases.

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Americans are still absorbing larger price increases than they have in decades. Grocery prices jumped 1.1% in July and are 13% higher than a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase since 1979. bread jumped 2.8% last month, the highest in more than two years. Rental and medical costs increased, although slightly less than in previous months.

President Joe Biden has pointed to falling gasoline prices as a sign that his policies — including large releases from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve — are helping to reduce higher costs that have hurt household finances. , especially for low-income Americans and Black and Hispanic households.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.