Drivers across the Philadelphia region and the nation are breathing a sigh of relief as gas prices continue their rapid decline.
Across the country, prices have been falling for 32 days straight, said Patrick DeHaan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. He expects the nationwide average to decline from its current $4.54 to just $4.45 by the end of next week.
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) July 16, 2022
On Thursday, he said the U.S. experienced the largest single day decline in gas prices since the 2008 recession. The price of a gallon dropped by more than three cents on average. It’s the second largest single day decline ever recorded.
The US saw the *largest* single day decline in #gasprices yesterday since the 2008 recession: the national average fell 3.5c/gal. Americans today will spend $177 million less on gasoline than they did 31 days ago. Outside the 2008 recession, it was the largest daily decline EVER.
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) July 15, 2022
Prices have fallen precipitously across the Delaware Valley, as well.
The average price for a gallon in Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs was $4.67 on Saturday, down from $4.80 a week ago and the all-time record of $5.11 set on June 12, AAA reports.
That’s much lower than in Western Pennsylvania, where a gallon is going for $4.79 on average in Forest County.
The drop was mirrored in the South Jersey suburbs, where a gallon was going for $4.57 on average on Saturday, down from $4.67 a week ago and the record of $5 set on June 13, according to AAA.
DeHaan told NJ.com that some New Jersey residents could be paying $3.99 or less as early as Monday.
The drop is partly due to a decrease in demand following the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but recession fears and the federal government continuing to release oil from its strategic reserves are also contributing factors.
DeHaan predicts that the nationwide average will fall below $4 per gallon by mid-August, but only if the market remains uninterrupted.
“Unexpected changes in supply or demand, or outages, hurricanes, geopolitical tensions could change the outcome,” he said.
I (cautiously) project the national average price of gasoline could fall to $3.99/gal on August 14. CAVEAT: Unexpected changes in supply or demand, or outages, hurricanes, geopolitical tensions could change the outcome. #gasprices pic.twitter.com/VZqnI0yEdj
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) July 13, 2022
Some are also worried that the drop is temporary and that prices could rise to another all-time high later this year.
In the short term, prices could also rise again around Labor Day, when demand usually increases as families go on vacation before the start of the school year.
Last year, Pennsylvania saw its highest gas prices in seven years around the holiday.
The national average of $3.27 per gallon in September 2021 seems like a good value now, but it was a full dollar higher than what Americans were paying a year earlier.