Driving is expensive. Between the initial purchase price of a vehicle, insurance, maintenance, parking costs, and taxes, the cost of owning a vehicle can quickly add up. Worst of all? Gas prices aren’t fixed, meaning attempting to make a gas budget can be tricky as nationwide fuel prices go up and down. For those of us who have lived through gas shortages and the extreme price hikes of the 2000s know all too well how gas prices can affect a budget. Luckily, new data released by AAA show that gas prices have been enjoying a downward trend for sometime. How long will the downward trend continue?
Gas prices reached a year-to-date high of $2.61 on February 5th, but have been falling steadily for the past two weeks. On February 20th, national average gas prices reached a new year-to-date low of $2.53. That’s still $0.25 higher than that date a year ago, however.
In a press release, AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano says while the current momentary reprieve from high prices is nice, prices could soon go back up due to slowdowns in nationwide gas production:
The question isn’t how low will they go, but how long will we see prices decline. A handful of major refineries are undergoing maintenance. If production slows at a high rate and/or if crude oil prices jump, these events could push pump prices back up in late February or March.
Gas prices fell the most in Michigan, which is $0.19 lower than a month ago. Illinois and Ohio both come in second with a $0.13 decrease, Indiana saw a $0.08 fall, while gas prices in Alaska fell $0.05. Nationwide, the ten states with the lowest gas prices remain Texas ($2.27), Mississippi ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), Alabama ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.28), Ohio ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.32), Oklahoma ($2.33), Tennessee ($3.33) and New Mexico ($2.34).