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Which Way Are US Gas Prices Headed?

Gas prices have been fluctuating up and down recently. Drivers were hoping gas prices would continue decreasing but yesterday prices reversed directions and actually increased slightly.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas on Thursday $3.58, up one cent from one day ago but down 11 cents from one month ago., according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. One week ago, gas prices were the exact same price.

Two weeks ago, the gas prices were averaging $3.63 per gallon, down from $3.70 the week before, and $3.95 in May. As anticipated, gas prices continued inching downward, hitting $3.56 on Monday, before creeping back up to $3.578 on Thursday.

Though the increase at the pump was less than a penny, it’s noteworthy because the experts predicted prices would steadily decline throughout late summer. No one knows if this will happen or not, but many experts are expecting gas prices will fluctuate over the next couple of weeks and then begin a continuous decline after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Several experts are predicting that the price of gas will likely fall to about $3.50 per gallon on average by the end of September.

According to Jessica Brady, a spokesperson for AAA Auto Club, “No matter how optimistic investors try to be at this time, they can’t ignore the sluggish economy seen both here in the U.S. and abroad. Retail gas prices have consistently decreased throughout the past few weeks and are expected to continue the decrease into the Labor Day holiday.”

“No matter how optimistic investors try to be at this time, they can’t ignore the sluggish economy seen both here in the U.S. and abroad,” said Brady. “Retail gas prices have consistently decreased throughout the past few weeks and are expected to continue the decrease into the Labor Day holiday. Gas prices in the Southeast decreased an average of 5 cents last week.”

Oil prices rose on Thursday as fighting in Libya continued, dashing hopes of a quick return of the OPEC member’s exports to the market. Traders said U.S. oil’s strength was supported by strong gains in gasoline and heating oil futures as the market kept a close watch on powerful hurricane Irene, which threatened East Coast refineries.

Unlike a storm in the Gulf of Mexico, an East Coast storm does not threaten significant U.S. crude oil and natural gas production. The East Coast is the second smallest of the five U.S. refining regions, with just six refineries, and most of its fuel being supplied by pipeline from the Gulf Coast or tanker ship from Europe.