Gas prices fall, but consumers should prepare for more expensive summer fuel: AAA

The midweek rebound in natural gas prices after a two-minute decline could be driven by increased demand and pricier summer blend fuels, AAA said.

Despite a slight increase through the middle of the week, gas prices remained cheaper than last week, but the shift to more expensive summer gasoline could change that, according to AAA’s latest report.

The national average cost for a gallon of natural gas fell to $3.37, down two cents from last week but a penny more than the cost of gas earlier this week, AAA said. Price volatility during the week is likely due to increased demand, oil prices and summer gasoline, AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said.

“This blend is designed to reduce emissions during the summer and is more expensive to perfect,” Gross said. “Switching to the summer blend typically adds about five to ten cents to the price of gas.”

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Sticky inflation helps keep gas costs lower

American drivers have spent an average of about 26.3 cents less per gallon of gas so far this year than they did a year ago, according to GasBuddy. It’s likely that “sticky inflation” will help keep prices lower as the market heads into the traditionally more expensive summer months for natural gas.

January’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation, showed continued improvement in the level of inflation. However, the concern is that inflation will take longer to fall to the 2% rate the Federal Reserve has targeted.

As a result, interest rates will likely continue to rise as the Fed maintains its tight monetary policy to beat inflation, said GasBuddy head of oil analysis Patrick De Haan.

“About nine out of 10 states saw declines last week, so declines are seen across most of the country, with the exception of the West Coast as the transition to summer mixes continues and the Great Lakes, where prices were released last week, but now they have continued to decline,” De Haan said. “For the coming weeks, tradition tells us to expect rates to eventually rise, but that could be at least partially offset by inflation data that continues to be hotter than expected, leading to concern that the Fed will tighten interest rates and will cool interest rates. economy and oil demand significantly”.

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Some tips to save money at the pump

While gas prices have remained relatively stable since hitting a new record of more than $5 a gallon last year, consumers remain price weary. According to GasBuddy’s annual Pump Habits study, most US drivers (74%) have become more aware of prices at the pump.

Here are some tips on how drivers can save money, according to the study:

Store prices before pumping

Seventy-nine percent of drivers said they bought gas only to find it cheaper at the next station they drive to, the study found. Using an app that shows gas prices in your area could help you avoid this costly mistake.

Avoid last minute gas decisions

Waiting until your tank is empty means less choice when pumping gas and reduces the opportunity to compare prices. However, 64% of Americans said they are close to or completely out of gas.

“Often, filling your tank is an afterthought, robbing you of hundreds of dollars a year,” De Haan said. “Motorists should get into the habit of choosing a price, not a station.”

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