Gas prices reach lowest point this year, experts issue word of caution

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Gas prices are at the lowest prices they’ve been in a year and a half, but industry experts are issuing a word of caution.

GasBuddy says the national average for a gallon of gasoline is down nearly $2 compared to six months ago. They have dropped in Indiana by almost a dollar since November. Many stations in the state are selling it for under $3 per gallon.

“While the decline should take the national average under $3 per gallon in the next week or so, it is soon likely to fade as oil prices have held in the $70 per barrel range. But while the declines for gasoline may fade, diesel prices still have considerable ground to cover, and could fall another 50 cents or more in the weeks ahead. Fuel prices across the board have been plunging back into territory more Americans feel is normal, which could certainly boost economic sentiment going forward,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

Lundberg agrees with DeHaan in that the drops could continue, but they won’t be as dramatic as they have been.

“There’s about a 72 cent drop in the last two weeks. Higher oil prices will hit over the longer term, though, which would translate to the end of these types of drops at the pump,” said Lundberg.

After reaching as low as $72 per barrel, West Texas Intermediate crude oil has seen a slight rally on China’s reopening plans, rising $1.47 per barrel in early trade to $75.76. It’s been hovering around a similar level Tuesday.

As of Tuesday morning, GasBuddy says the average across Indiana is $3.02 per gallon. That’s down 20 cents from where it was this time last week.

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