Gas Prices Are on the Rise Again — Will the Surge Last Long?

A woman counts money standing at an open fuel tank, the concept of rising fuel prices, closeup stock photo
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American motorists have seen some worrying signs in recent days in the form of rising gasoline prices following more than three months of falling prices at the pump. The good news, however, is that the recent increase could be short-lived.

See: Consumer Price Index Shows Inflation Still Hot Despite Sharp Drop In Gas Prices
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The national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.725 as of Sept. 26, according to AAA. That’s up from $3.714 the previous day and $3.677 a week prior. The recent uptick ended a run of nearly 100 straight days of falling gas prices during the summer driving season, Fox News reported.

Exactly why gas prices have been ticking higher is unclear, considering that oil prices sank about 5% to an eight-month low on Sept. 23 amid fears that rising interest rates will lead to a global recession. Gas prices are closely tied to the price of oil.

One reason gas prices might have gone up is the fear that hurricane season will disrupt the production and supply of oil and gas. Another factor is the market’s usual volatility, which means the current rise in gas prices might not last long.

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“I don’t think you’ll see a major move higher or lower,” Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for OPIS, told CNN in an interview on Sept. 21.

Prices could ease over the short term due to seasonal factors such as the end of the summer driving season and the yearly end of government regulations requiring a cleaner, more expensive blend of gasoline.

As CNN reported, wholesale gasoline futures point to sharply lower gas prices by the end of 2022 — including the possibility that much of the country might see prices dip below $3 a gallon.

But other factors could push gas prices higher in coming months. A continued decline in crude prices might push the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce its production. The market could be roiled further by the upcoming European Union ban on Russian oil — two developments that could push oil prices back up again.

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Although crude prices fell below $80 a barrel on Sept. 23, analysts at both JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs Group forecast that prices will move back above $100 a barrel during the final quarter of 2022.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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