Gasoline prices may have peaked for the year, already falling as the busy Fourth of July travel weekend approaches, according to analyst projections.
Prices at the pump typically top out near the end of June - absent major swings in crude oil costs - and this year gasoline prices likely will fall throughout the second half of 2016, according to a forecast by GasBuddy, which tracks fuel costs nationwide. Gasoline costs started decreasing just before the July 4 holiday in seven of the past 10 years.
"This defies the general consensus on Main Street that prices rise ahead of a major travel holiday," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
Motorists will enjoy the lowest Fourth of July prices since 2005, according to GasBuddy. The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline on Tuesday was unchanged in the Houston area at about $2.11 from the past week, down from $2.54 for the same week last year and $3.48 in 2014. Nationally, pump prices fell an average of about 3 cents to $2.30.
GasBuddy predicts the national average will dip to $2.27 per gallon on July 4, down significantly from 2014, when the national average hit $3.66 per gallon.
So why the good news? Ask Nigel Farage.
The decision by United Kingdom voters to exit the European Union will add even more downward pressure to summer gasoline costs despite record-setting demand, Laskoski added. That's because the so-called Brexit is weakening global economies, depressing oil demand and prices. Cheaper oil - the primary feedstock of gasoline - means less expensive fuel.
GasBuddy projects that average gas price nationally will again slip below $2 a gallon as early as November as demand falls after summer and refineries begin pumping out cheaper winter-blend fuels. The average U.S. price for gasoline is expected to fall to an average of $2.21 in August, $2.02 in October and $1.88 in December, according to GasBuddy.
Gas under $2 a gallon again this winter? More than likely. We'll see.