Gas Prices Tumble, But For How Long?

Gas prices are a constant point of concern for cash strapped Americans in a long-term shaky economy, and it seems every drop is followed by a longer rise in the prices at the pump.

As of right now, gas prices seem to be dropping in a small but steady way. But whether such a decline will remain a trend or just a blip seems iffy at best.

The AAA looks at trends in gas prices and often predicts whether or not they’ll remain static, and it seems the same factors often conspire to ensure gas prices rise again to higher highs.

According to the AAA, we’ve seen some positive gas pricing trends this summer, and in a news release, the group says:

“After skyrocketing last month, prices at the pump continue to fall across the country. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.54 per gallon Friday, a four-cent drop in the past week. The current price is 12 cents less expensive than one month ago and 17 cents cheaper than the same day last year… Nationally, the pump price average is 25 cents lower than the peak price this year of $3.79 on February 27 and appear to have hit a summer-low of $3.47 on July 7.”

So we’re down 17 cents compared to gas prices last year, but will it hold? Probably not in the short term, and the AAA cites two factors that seem to often translate to pain at the pump: hurricane season and unrest in the Middle East.

As far as the former, we’re poised to again have a more active than normal hurricane season, with predicted activity already seen as worse than in recent years. Last year’s hurricane season brought the disaster than was known as Hurricane Sandy to the eastern seaboard — and along with gas prices being affected, states like New York and New Jersey were even hit with lengthy and disruptive gas shortages.

Overall, gas prices remain lower this week than they were at the same time last year in all national markets — but hurricane season and its challenges remains right around the corner.