AAA: Gas prices expected to fall after Labor Day

Like autumn leaves, the national average for a gallon of gas is expected to fall after Labor Day.

Cheaper production, stable August crude oil prices, and an anticipated drop in consumer demand after Labor Day will contribute to a $.25 cent price drop compared to this year’s recorded high of $2.97 set in May; predicts AAA Northeast. A September switchover from the more expensive summer blends to cheaper winter blends also will contribute to lower prices at the pump.

After Labor Day, the national average for a gallon of self-service regular is expected to be around $2.70, $.14 cents lower than today’s (August 29) average price of $2.84, said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokesperson.

“Motorists could very well rake in some significant price savings at the pump this fall,” she added. “But, worldwide tensions, volatile market conditions and an active hurricane season could very well change our predictions.”

These specific factors include:

  • Venezuela, a major producer whose collapsing economy could halt crude production;
  • OPEC’s slower-than-expected production growth may contribute to higher crude prices;
  • Middle Eastern tensions created by US Iranian sanctions could disrupt vital crude flow in the region; and in turn affect prices; and
  • The mere threat of at least 4 to 7 major hurricanes has the potential to cause regional price spikes because of limited supplies and delivery challenges.

In Connecticut, average prices also are expected to drop after Labor Day but will still be higher than the national average. Over the last six months, the Nutmeg State has held steady at 9th place on the list of states with highest prices in the nation. Connecticut average prices dropped a penny or less a week over the last three weeks. Environmental regulations, high gas taxes and distribution limitations all contribute to Connecticut’s higher prices

Be a Gas Watcher

Just in time for fall, AAA is releasing its 2018 Gas Watcher’s Guide with tips for conserving fuel and saving money. Available through www.exchange.aaa.com, the guide provides tips like these to improve fuel efficiency.

  • Skip the Premium —If your vehicle doesn’t require premium or mid-grade fuel, don’t buy it. Using anything other than regular grade is simply a waste of money. Check your auto manual for gas requirements.
  • Don’t Top Off — Avoid overfilling your gas tank, especially if the automatic nozzle shuts off after the second time. Spills cause waste and damages the environment.
  • Cap it Off — If you replace a gas cap, make sure it is the right one for your car. Ill-fitting caps increase emissions and trigger the “check engine” light.
  • Keep on Track — By tracking your gas mileage, you’ll know there’s a problem if you experience a sudden decrease in fuel economy. Have a professional check your vehicle to ensure proper operation.

For current gas prices, visit www.gasprices.aaa.com which are updated daily by state and on the national level. By using the free AAA Mobile app, you can also find local gas stations, map routes, find discounts, book hotels and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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