The current national average price for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline is $3.91, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
This price is two cents cheaper than the price one week ago, but seven cents more expensive than one month ago and eight cents more expensive than one year ago.
As recently as two weeks ago, this year-over-year price increase was as high as 28 cents.
The national average price of gasoline has continued to hold steady over the last week, and is even down slightly from the prices seen at the beginning of April.
This recent trend has led some to suggest that we may be at or at least near to the peak price for the season.
This suggestion was further supported last Tuesday by a U.S. Energy Information Administration prediction that retail gasoline prices will peak at a $4.01-cent average per gallon for the month of May and will average $3.95 for the summer driving months (April-September). This would be an increase of 24 cents (6.5 percent) above the average price for the same period in 2011, which averaged $3.71 per gallon.
But history says otherwise.
Gas prices have only peaked before mid-May once in the past 20 years, according to Energy Department statistics, and it hasn’t happened since 1998, reported the LA Times.
History suggests that the national average won’t peak before mid-May at the earliest. More than half of the time over the past 20 years, gasoline prices have peaked between mid-May and Labor Day, according to Energy Department records.
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