Get All Access for $5/mo

Falling Gas Price Trend Likely Bottomed, Drivers Should Brace for Pain at the Pump: Experts National average retail gasoline prices have been in a downward trend since peaking at $3.505 for the week ending Nov. 8, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

By The Epoch Times Edited by Charles Muselli

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The falling trend in retail gasoline prices has likely hit bottom and drivers should expect a fresh run of higher prices before seeing relief at the pump again, according to several industry experts, with one predicting a peak as high as $4 per gallon by spring.

National average retail gasoline prices have been in a downward trend since peaking at $3.505 for the week ending Nov. 8, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The week ending Dec. 27 saw the national average fall to $3.375 per gallon, with the agency predicting in early December that prices would drop to $3.01 per gallon in January and average $2.88 per gallon in 2022.

But GasBuddy head petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan believes the falling trend has reversed.

"With oil back to $76/bbl, it's becoming more clear that our month-long run with falling #gasprices is likely coming to an end," De Haan said in a tweet. "Expect a spike soon in the Great Lakes, which could push the national average up a few cents soon. West Coast could see some increases soon too."

Separately, De Haan told CNN that his modeling indicates the national average gas price is likely to rise to $3.41 per gallon for all of 2022, with a peak in May that could go as high as $4 before edging down again.

"We could see a national average that flirts with, or in a worst-case scenario, potentially exceeds $4 a gallon," De Haan told the outlet.

His remarks build on statements he made a day prior when he predicted that an uptick in the price of wholesale gasoline was squeezing profits at stations in several states, "triggering a likely hike soon."

"Expecting a hike soon in #gasprices in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and areas of Kentucky and Illinois as soon as tomorrow as retail gas prices are now at/below margin in many of these areas," De Haan wrote on Twitter, adding that he expects a jump to between $3.09 and $3.25 per gallon in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, and higher than that in Illinois.

As of Dec. 28, retail regular gasoline prices in the four states in question were: $3.001 in Ohio, $3.089 in Michigan, $3.041 in Indiana, and $3.371 in Illinois, according to AAA.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service at IHS Markit said in a Dec. 27 Twitter post that he, too, believes the falling gas price trend is over—at least for now.

"Cash prices for gasoline up 4cts (East of Rockies) to as much as 16cts gal (PNW). Downtrend in retail pump prices probably over for now," Kloza wrote.

The pace of gas price declines has slowed in line with a reduction in demand, AAA stated last week, while noting that a potential uptick in crude prices would likely trigger higher prices at the pump.

"Typically, falling demand and increased supply would support higher drops in pump prices, but fluctuations in the price of crude oil have helped to keep pump prices elevated. If crude prices continue to climb, pump prices will likely follow suit," the agency stated.

Elevated gas prices have been one of the faces of the broader inflationary trend, frustrating drivers and becoming a political problem for the Biden administration, which announced the week of Thanksgiving that it would release crude from the national strategic stockpile in a bid to cool pump prices.

While gasoline prices have eased recently, they remain far above the year-ago national average of $2.252 per gallon.

Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden for relying on OPEC to ramp up supply to counter higher prices at the pump, rather than boosting domestic oil production.

After taking office in January, Biden signed executive orders that shut down construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have been able to transport oil into the United States from oilfields in Alberta, Canada. The administration also put a freeze on some new drilling sites.

Fuel prices are one of the major factors pushing up inflation in the United States, which soared to a multi-decade high in November.

By Tom Ozimek

Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'

The Epoch Times, founded in 2000, is headquartered in Manhattan, New York, with a mission to provide independent and accurate information free of political bias or corporate influence. The organization was established in response to censorship within China and a lack of global awareness regarding the Chinese regime's repression of the spiritual practice Falun Gong.

The Epoch Times is a widely read newspaper that is distributed in 33 countries and is available in 21 languages. The publication has been critical in providing balanced and detailed reporting on major global events such as the 2003 SARS pandemic and the 2008 financial crisis. Notably, the organization has played a key role in exposing corruption inside China.

Aside from its human rights coverage, The Epoch Times has made significant contributions in a variety of fields. It has received praise for its in-depth analysis and expert perspectives on business, the economy and U.S. politics. The newspaper has also received praise for its broad coverage of these topics.

A series of editorials titled "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party" appeared in The Epoch Times in 2004. It asserts that freedom and prosperity in China can only be achieved by eliminating the Communist Party, which violated China's cultural and spiritual values. In addition, the organization led the Tuidang movement, which resulted in over 400 million Chinese citizens quitting the Communist Party. In spite of this, 90% of websites referring to the "Nine Commentaries" were blocked by the Chinese regime.

The Epoch Times has been at the forefront of investigating high-level corruption cases within the Chinese regime, with its reporters taking significant risks to uncover these stories. The organization has received several awards for its investigative journalism.

The organization has received several awards for its investigative journalism. For more, visit www.theepochtimes.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Marketing

10 Effective Growth Marketing Hacks and Strategies for Your Startup

Working at a startup can feel like building a plane while you're trying to take off. Use these ten marketing tips to effectively grow and sustain your startup.

Productivity

My Employees Taught Me These 5 Lessons on Productivity

Entrepreneurs should focus on understanding and catering to individual work patterns and needs rather than enforcing one-size-fits-all productivity methods.

Science & Technology

No More ChatGPT? Here's Why Small Language Models Are Stealing the AI Spotlight

Entrepreneurs can leverage this growing tech to create innovative, efficient and targeted AI solutions.