Gas price outlook: Drivers may see ‘some price decreases’ moving forward

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**FILE**A gasoline station attendant pumps gas in this July 13, 2006 file photo in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Gasoline prices are starting to drop off after a nine-week upward swing as the nation enters spring.

According to GasBuddy’s weekly survey of 148 stations in Peoria, the price of a gallon fell 1.5 cents over the past week. The average price rose 24 cents in just a month.

The survey showed average gas prices in Peoria sitting at $3.02 per gallon. The cheapest gas price in the area is priced at $2.88 while the most expensive price is $3.19 per gallon, a difference of 31 cents per gallon.

Comparatively, gas prices across the state average $3.03 per gallon, down 1.6 cents from last week’s price. Champaign’s average price rose to $3.05 per gallon, and over in the Quad Cities, the average price rose to $2.80 per gallon.

Just last week, Peoria gas prices averaged $3.02 per gallon.

This week, GasBuddy Petroleum Analysis Head Patrick De Haan said motorists could see some relief from rising gas prices. He said while gasoline demand rose to its highest level since the pandemic began last week, concerns that oil demand growth will stall with COVID-19 cases surging in Europe are eroding oil’s recent rise.

“While gas prices still rose in a majority of states last week, we may see some price decreases in the week or weeks ahead, even as U.S. gasoline demand continues to rally to the highest level since the pandemic started nearly a year ago,” De Haan said in a blog post.

AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee said gas price increases have slowed down due to a dip in demand and a simultaneous increase in supply and refinery utilization. Her agency said the national average is the highest price since May 2019.

“On the week, 32 states had increases of only 3 cents or less. This does not mean gas prices have hit their peak, but is a positive sign for consumers,” McGee said.

Despite the brief respite, De Haan said motorists should expect to see gas prices continue to soar as we enter the summer driving season.

“It’ll be a bumpy road the next few weeks as markets sort out the bearish and bullish factors, but I still believe prices will likely experience more upward momentum ahead of Memorial Day,” De Haan said.

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