Back in June, the average gas price in the United States exceeded $5 per gallon for the first time in history, due to a combination of rising oil prices and uncertainty about the war in Ukraine. However, gas prices have been steadily declining for the last two months and on Monday, they reached a key milestone.
According to GasBuddy, the average gas price has now dropped below $4, for the first time since March. That’s down from a high of $5.03 a gallon on June 14. Gas prices had exceeded $4 a gallon for the first time since 2008 in March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.
“We’ve never seen anything like 2022 at the pump, highlighted by once-in-a-lifetime events including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which caused myriad imbalances, exacerbated by Russia’s war on Ukraine. As a result, we’ve seen gas prices behave in ways never witnessed before, jumping from $3 to $5 and now back to $3.99,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a blog post on Monday.
“While the recent drop in gas prices has been most welcomed, the issues that led to skyrocketing prices aren’t completely put to bed, and still could lead prices to eventually climb back up, should something unexpected develop.”
The company had said the day before that average gas prices had declined for eight straight weeks, and also for more than fifty straight days. The post also noted that a handful of gas stations had even seen their price drop below $3 a gallon.
Gas prices had briefly dropped below $2 in the summer of 2020, but that was due to a collapse in demand during the lockdown phase of the Covid-19 pandemic when very few cars were on the road and demand therefore collapsed. It would likely require Depression-like conditions for prices to get that low again anytime soon.
“Everyone’s clamoring for #gasprices they paid at the height of the pandemic,” De Haan said on Twitter this week. “You want your $1.86 or whatever price? Go back in time to when the economy was in the can, millions were let go from their jobs, the stock market crashed, and when there wasn't an answer yet to Covid.”
Meanwhile, CNN reported this week that while gas prices have fallen, the overall inflation picture remains cloudy.
“What is important is housing,” Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research, told CNN for the story. “While we have been seeing new and existing home sales start to decline, prices have not been coming down because there’s still more demand than there is supply.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for the National Interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.