By the edhat staff
Could we be seeing some relief at the gas pump? Prices are trending downwards causing experts to believe the hurt is fading.
As of Tuesday, the U.S. national average price of gas has fallen back under the $4 mark to $3.99 per gallon for the first time since early March, according to GasBuddy. Gas prices have declined over $1 per gallon nationally since peaking at $5.03 on June 14, fueled by falling oil prices over the last month.
In Santa Barbara County, prices have decreased by about $0.75 since the peak in June. As of Tuesday, August 9, the cheapest gallon of unleaded is located in Buellon at Tom’s Gas for $5.09/gal. On the South Coast, World Gas off Fairview Ave in Goleta is offering the least expensive at $5.29/gal.
For nearby Los Angeles County, the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline decreased for the 55th consecutive day to $5.482, its lowest amount since March 7. The average price has dropped 98 cents since rising to a record high of $6.462 on June 14, according to figures from the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Gas prices were well over $6/gal in Santa Barbara County the past few months with some stations in Los Angeles posting prices over $7/gal.
Although gas prices have slowly trended downward, fewer drivers fueled up last week, the peak of summer driving season. It’s led experts to believe Americans are changing their driving habits to deal with higher prices. The cost of oil has edged lower on fears of economic slowdowns throughout the globe, causing the national average for a gallon of gas to fall to $4.05.
“Oil is the primary ingredient in gasoline, so less expensive oil is helpful in taming pump prices,” said Andrew Gross, American Auto Association (AAA) spokesperson. “Couple that with fewer drivers fueling up, and you have a recipe for gas prices to keep easing. It’s possible that the national average will fall below $4 this week.”
In a new AAA survey, almost two-thirds of U.S. adults have stated they are driving less and combining errands to reduce spending money on gas.
Experts anticipate a slight increase around Labor Day, but expect prices will continue to decrease as we move into the Fall.