WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gas prices will drop by 14 cents or more per gallon this fall, according to AAA's Fall Gas Price Forecast.
AAA forecasts that the national gas price average could fall to less than $2.70 in the coming months. Not only is this 14 cents less than today’s national gas price average, but it’s also a quarter cheaper than May’s $2.97 average, this year’s recorded high.
Pump prices will be driven down in the fall, in part, by the switch over to winter-blend gasoline in mid-September. A dip in consumer demand following a busy summer drive travel season will also be a factor.
"Cheaper-to-produce gasoline and relatively stable crude oil prices in August, combined with an anticipated drop in consumer gasoline demand post-Labor Day, means consumers will see savings when they fill up at the pump this fall," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. "However, several outliers can reverse this forecast, including crude oil prices, geopolitical tensions and the mere threat of a hurricane."
While consumers will have reason to be happy with fall’s falling gas prices, 2018 remains a more expensive year for gas than 2017. This year’s year-to-date national gas price average of $2.73 is 41 cents greater than last year’s.
The top 10 states with the largest year-over-year difference in gas price averages are mostly West Coast, Northeast or Mid-Atlantic states:
- California (+57 cents)
- Hawaii (+54 cents)
- Indiana (+49 cents)
- Arizona (+48 cents)
- Oregon (+46 cents)
- Connecticut (+45 cents)
- Rhode Island (+45 cents)
- Utah (+45 cents)
- Massachusetts (+44 cents)
Four Great Lakes and Central states and one Southern state carry the smallest year-over-year difference in gas prices:
- South Dakota (+37 cents)
- Missouri (+37 cents)
- Louisiana (+36 cents)
- Iowa (+36 cents)
- Nebraska (+35 cents)
AAA noted that not all consumers will see significantly lower prices at the pump in the near future. Crude market volatility, Iran sanctions and hurricane forecasts could keep prices unseasonably high in some regions as fall approaches.