Fill ‘er up: Gas prices have bottomed out, on the rise

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Gas is as low as it is going to get and, in fact, is already on the rise in some places.

GasBuddy is reporting rock-bottom prices at the pump in recent weeks as the statewide average bottomed out at $2.37 a gallon, compared to the nationwide average of $2.25/gallon.

18-month gas price chart. (GasBuddy.com)

GasBuddy’s daily survey of 494 stations in Wyoming found the current $2.37 compares quite favorably to a wide-ranging January 28 in years’ past.

$2.41/g – 2018
$2.16/g – 2017
$1.76/g – 2016
$1.91/g – 2015
$3.06/g – 2014

Recovering crude oil prices—on the rebound since the new year—have caused a slight recent uptick (0.5 cents)  in the past week.

“The national average saw limited upward movement in the last week, while the lowest price stations overall were the locations that saw prices tick higher. The percent of gas stations in the US selling under $2 per gallon fell from 37% to 27% over the last week as oil prices hold above $53 per barrel. We’re also starting to see early refineries begin seasonal maintenance, which may aid prices moving higher in the weeks ahead,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

One upside to the government shutdown and potential to be right back where we were on February 15 is the effect it has on fuel prices.

“Part of where gas prices go from here and how quickly depends on whether or not politicians can make a long-term budget agreement. Another prolonged shutdown will hurt the economy and likely keep gas prices more muted,” DeHaan said. “In addition, watch for any progress of a broad trade deal with China. Even the sub-zero temperatures upcoming in many areas could play a role in gasoline prices, diesel prices and heating oil: it may keep Americans at home, using more heavy oils to heat their home.”

Nationwide gas map. (GasBuddy.com)

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