National Gas Price Average Falls to Under $2 Per Gallon
Given the numerous challenges facing Americans today, it seems any piece of good news is welcome. With that in mind, drivers may be pleased to know that gas prices are falling. In fact, new data shows that the average price just dropped below a major milestone.
According to the app GasBuddy, the price for a gallon of gasoline fell to a national average of $1.97 this week. Not only does that put it below the $2 threshold but also marks a more than 10¢ drop from the week prior. Furthermore prices have now trended downward for five straight weeks and 38 consecutive days.
Looking even closer at GasBuddy’s data, more than 100,000 stations across the country currently show prices below $2 a gallon — with 6,000 selling for under $1.50. Meanwhile, the average among the 90th percentile of stations (those that are the most expensive) came in at $2.92. That’s down 11¢ from last week, putting the drop in line with the larger national average.
Under normal circumstances, this dip in gas prices would be welcome during this time of year as motorists hit the road for spring break. However, between travel restrictions and more than three-quarters of American currently under some degree of lockdown order, demand for gasoline has not been nearly as high as usual. That said, falling prices are surely welcome among essential workers who are still reporting for duty as well as for those who might need to fill up in order to head out for supplies.
Commenting on the latest price data and the unique circumstances surrounding them, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick DeHaan explained, “[T]he first week of the national average being under $2/gal for the first time in over four years as motorists park their cars and shelter in place, leading to an unprecedented drop never before seen in U.S. gasoline demand, causing prices to sink like a rock.” Looking ahead, he added, “With the nation continuing to be under siege from the coronavirus and millions staying parked at home, there’s quite a bit more downside that’s in the pipeline coming in the weeks ahead. We could easily see the national average fall 50 cents to a dollar per gallon, while pricey states like California will see the biggest drops to come, playing catch up to the drop that has seen twenty nine states average gas prices fall under $2.”
Sadly, even this slice of good news comes with a warning about safety. For those filling up, DeHaan advised, “Motorists should continue to be vigilant if they need to fill their tanks- bring hand sanitizer and potentially wipes.” With that out of the way, here’s hoping that these low prices hang around long enough for consumers to take advantage of them once things return to some form of normal.