Gas prices slightly increased last week, but they appear to be heading back down this week, according to GasBuddy.
“We did get our price hike last week as anticipated. Prices did shoot up to about $2.19 per gallon. That means that it shouldn’t happen again this week,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Price hikes happen every one to two weeks in autumn. As prices get whittled down, they fall too low and they spike back up. But this week should be a smooth ride.”
DeHaan says he can’t guarantee there won’t be an increase later in the week.
“We should be inching down to that $2 per gallon mark,” says DeHaan. “If you can wait to fill up, I’d wait a few days.”
Talks between Democrat and Republican lawmakers over another coronavirus relief bill have been on-again, off-again. President Trump has called on Congress to pass a limited coronavirus relief bill. If a deal is approved, DeHaan says that could affect gas prices.
“The only reason coronavirus relief could push prices higher is because of the optimism of giving Americans hundreds or perhaps even a thousand dollars. That could bode well for the economy and push prices up,” says DeHaan. “If there is a deal sometime this week, you may see a little bit of an uptick in price. If there is no deal, prices at the pump should decline for a good portion of the coming week.”
As for the coronavirus itself, DeHaan says the pandemic has forced people to stay home more often which has decreased demand. That decrease in demand has led to much lower prices than usual. DeHaan says demand is about 13% lower than this time last year.
If you’re trying to figure out what days are best to fill up your tank, DeHaan has some insight into that.
“Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be very popular. Tuesday because prices have been whittled down over the course of the entire weekend and the market opens. If something happens on Monday, then prices go up Tuesday. Thursday is a popular day. It’s because a big government report comes out Wednesday that highlights changes to oil inventories. If that report is bad, wholesale prices spike on Wednesday and that leaves stations to adjust their prices Thursday. We almost never see prices go up over the weekend,” says DeHaan.