The gasoline prices they went down to less than 4 dollars for the first time in more than five monthsgood news for consumers who are struggling with the high prices of many other essential products.
According to AAA, an automobile club that monitors prices, the national average for a gallon of normal gasoline was $3.99 on Thursday.
Prices are down 15 cents in the last week and 68 cents in the last monthdepending on the organization.
For its part, the GasBuddy shopping app reported that the national average had already dropped to $3.98 on Wednesday.
Falling prices for gasoline, airline tickets and clothing are giving consumers some relief, though inflation remains near a four-decade high.
Oil prices began to rise in mid-2020, as economies recovered from the initial shock of the pandemic. They rose again as the United States and its allies announced sanctions against Russian oil over Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Recently, however, oil prices have fallen on concerns of slowing economic growth around the world. Benchmark US crude has recently fallen to around $90 a barrel, from more than $120 a barrel in June.
High prices may also make US motorists drive less. Gasoline demand in early August was down 3.3% from the same week last year, after coming closer to 2021 figures earlier in the summer.
Prices at the pump are likely to be an important issue ahead of the midterm elections in November.
Republicans blame President Joe Biden for high gas prices, capitalizing on his decision to cancel a permit for a major pipeline and suspend new oil and gas leases on federal land.
Biden said over the weekend that a family with two cars is saving $100 a month because prices are down from their peak in mid-June. “That’s a breather,” she tweeted. “And we’re not going to stop doing it anytime soon.”
Biden has also railed against oil companies, accusing them of not producing as much oil and gasoline as they could while making huge profits. “Exxon has made more money than God this year,” he said in June.
Exxon said it has increased oil production. Chevron’s CEO said Biden was trying to vilify the industry against him.
The national average for gasoline has not been below $4 since early March. Prices peaked at $5.02 per gallon on June 14, according to the AAA. They fell slowly for the rest of June, and then began to fall more rapidly.
Motorists in California and Hawaii are still paying more than $5, and other western states are paying close to that. The cheapest gasoline is found in Texas and other states in the South and Midwest.
A year ago, the national median price was about $3.20 a gallon.
(With information from AP)