GasBuddy: Prices at the pump set to fall following Labor Day

BOSTON, (GasBuddy) – As the sun fades away and summer driving season edges closer to completion, the U.S. national average has continued to rise for 14 consecutive days to $2.21 a gallon, according to price-tracker GasBuddy.com which supplies the data for wane.com’s Gas Gauge.

“As the summer driving season wraps up, gasoline prices have risen for 14 consecutive days, thanks in large part due to a late-summer rally in oil markets, driven by OPEC threats,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “While the final note may be a bit sour, the sweetness of what is still the cheapest summer gas in a decade will linger. Motorists shopping around for gas using the free GasBuddy app over the upcoming Labor Day weekend stand to save 5-25 cents per gallon over their counterparts, saving their hard-earned money on a day recognizing their hard work,” he said.

Some 46 states saw average prices rise in the last week with just Indiana, Alaska, Kentucky and Utah declining. The national average rose 7 cents per gallon compared to its week ago level as gasoline prices rise, following oil’s recent rally. But while gasoline prices have risen and may inch forward for a few more days, there are signs that relief is around the corner.

With the conclusion of Labor Day weekend comes the conclusion of the summer driving season in the world’s largest gasoline consuming country, setting the stage for gasoline demand and prices to fall. In addition, EPA’s summer gasoline requirements end September 15 in much of the nation, opening the door for cheaper winter gasoline to return to pumps- a double whammy of downward pressure just in time for autumn- a yearly trend that’s unphased by upcoming elections.

“While some tropical disturbances may lead gas prices to continue rising slightly ahead of Labor Day weekend, relief will be felt across every single state later as as gasoline demand drops and cheaper winter gas begins flowing in mid-September.” DeHaan added.

Leading the rise in the last week was Florida (+13 cents), Tennessee (+9 cents), Kansas (+9 cents), Georgia (+8 cents) and Missouri (+8 cents). Nearly half the nation’s states saw gas prices rising by more than a nickle in the last week.

With the recent upward trend, the savings today versus a year ago are evaporating quickly. The national average today stands 28 cents lower than a year ago, just a few weeks after being nearly double that.

States with the cheapest and most expensive gasoline today, respectively: South Carolina ($1.94), Alabama ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.99), Hawaii ($2.71), California ($2.67) and Washington ($2.61). While just three states currently enjoy average prices under $2 a gallon, GasBuddy’s latest analysis has the national average gas price at $1.99 by Halloween.

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