US Gas Prices Break Nearly 100-Day Streak of Declines
It was a good run while it lasted.
After the national average price for a gallon of gas topped $5 in June, it decreased for 99 days.
President Joe Biden repeatedly celebrated the dip, and we were treated to an article in CNN that suggested we should see the lower prices as a pay raise.
But on Wednesday, that streak of falling gas prices came to an end.
According to AAA, the average price for a regular gallon of gas was $3.681 as of Wednesday morning. That is up from $3.674.
That increase is probably not something that will break the bank. However, it is still higher than the average of $3.19 a year ago.
But as The New York Times notes, it is a “sign that the effect of falling fuel costs, which have recently helped temper overall inflation, might be waning.”
Breaking News: A 99-day stretch of declines in the average U.S. gas price has ended, a sign that the effect of falling fuel costs on inflation might be waning. https://t.co/ciaGZFGET6
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 21, 2022
Allen Good, an equities analyst at Morningstar, told the Times, “I’d estimate over the next few weeks a recovery in prices.”
Good added that he expects the price to hover between $3.50 and $4 a gallon in the coming months.
The news of end of the streak of decreasing prices obviously does not mean that they will start skyrocketing upward.
But it comes after the August inflation report exceeded expectations as month-to-month prices increased when they were –expected to decrease. Additionally, annualized inflation rose 8.3% that month, which was less than the 9.1% in June but it’s not great.
This could signal trouble for Democrats as it seems that, at the very least, inflation and gas prices may be plateauing at elevated levels.
And that will create uncertainty about how much longer the prices will stay high, what if anything more Biden can do to ease the pain, and why the previous measures appear to have stopped working. And it will put price increase and tangible pocketbook issues back in the headlines as voters generally start to really pay attention to the politics ahead of the midterm elections.
During an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, Biden tried to tout the fact inflation “hasn’t spiked” since June.
And if gas prices level off around $3.50 or even $4, he will probably try to celebrate them if they don’t surge again. Never mind the fact that if gas prices stop dropping, that’s not going to help bring inflation down.
Not having prices be as high as they could be, when they’re still a lot higher than the previous year, is not something to celebrate.
It’s not normal and the higher costs are taking more out of Americans’ paycheck. And most voters probably won’t see that as something to celebrate when they’re deciding who to vote for in November.
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