Gas Prices Are Dipping Down, But The Trend Might Not Last Long

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Gas Prices Are Dipping Down, But The Trend Might Not Last Long
Gas prices are slowly slipping down thanks to a drop in oil prices, but experts warn the relief may be temporary.

After seeing gasoline prices spike over the last three months to a national average of $5 a gallon, there is a welcome dip at the pumps.

The Wall Street Journal reports prices have fallen for 24 consecutive days, and AAA says the national average is now $4.72.

"The primary reason is that within the last two weeks, we have seen demand going down with folks not filling up as much as they used to, you know, within the prior weeks before," Montrae Waiters, AAA spokesperson, said.

Fears of a global economic slowdown have sent crude oil prices tumbling, and prices at the gas pump are starting to reflect that.

"They are lowering prices," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said. "They're just doing it at a slower pace. A lot of people think when prices are going up or when they're high, stations are making boat loads of money, but that's not the case at all. The higher prices go, the less station's make."

Prices can't drop fast enough for people who have changed their driving habits and travel plans.

"It's frustrating because you are limited to everything you do, you can't make the trips you do, you can't drive as far as you used to," driver Cheryl Hitter said.

But the price break may not last, since this is usually a heavy travel month.

"Typically, in July we see demand creep back up, and as you know, if demand creeps up so does the gas prices," Waiters said. "But now we're in such a fluid situation, we just don't know"

Experts say other factors that drive prices up are the summer hurricane season and power outages that could disrupt refineries. Plus, the war in Ukraine is an ongoing factor in oil prices on the global market.

For ways to save, AAA suggests keeping an eye out for fuel reward programs, paying with cash instead of credit cards and getting rid of unnecessary weight in the car that affects fuel mileage.