One could be optimistic about the direction gas prices are heading after U.S. Memorial Day holiday travel weekend, but though the average price was lower than last year’s at this time, experts are predicting that the prices will shoot up over the summer.
“I expect Americans to spend nearly $107.93 billion on gasoline from June to August, up $69 million from the same time period last year,” Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, told FOX Business.
DeHaan based this forecast on the estimated consumption of 9.72 million barrels each day. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its May 2019 report that prices will most likely average $2.92 per gallon from April through September.
This is 7 cents more than last year’s average during the same time period.
“The higher forecast gasoline prices primarily reflect EIA’s expectation of higher gasoline refining margins this summer, despite slightly lower crude oil prices,” researchers wrote.
Things like refinery maintenance and other seasonal factors are contributing to potentially higher prices, FOX Business previously reported. The national average as of Friday was down from last week with a national average of $2.84 per gallon, according to AAA’s data.
While this might seem positive, don’t expect it to last long because prices have seen their largest seasonal surge since 2011 – an increase of about 67 cents. DeHaan notes that he is surprised by the “impressive resiliency of motorists” despite the price inflation.
On the other hand, everyone who traveled by car during Memorial Day weekend may have saved altogether $287 million in comparison to last year. However, American consumers named gas prices as one of their top concerns for 2019, and they are right to do so.
People categorize it as an expenditure that’s more crucial than health care, savings, or emergency funds.
Californians have had the worst of it, however, with gas prices of over $4 per gallon. Gov.
Gavin Newsom has called for an investigation considering how high it is compared to the rest of the nation as there may be “possible market manipulation,” according to a California Energy Commission report.
The prices could also be attributed to the refiner upsets that occurred in Los Angeles and San Francisco since California’s gasoline standard is quite unique and, therefore, replacements for any production shortfall aren’t easy to acquire.