Gas Prices Are Getting Better—Slowly

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

NOTD number.

That’s how much the average price of a gallon of gas has fallen from its record high last month, thanks to easing oil prices.

The U.S. average, which surged nearly 80 cents to $4.33 a gallon following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has made some headway in recent days, dropping to $4.14 on Friday, according to data from AAA.

The government’s March 31 commitment to release 180 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the next six months has helped bring the market price of oil down, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a recent blog post. In the next 10-15 days or so, gas prices should fall below $4, De Haan said on Twitter Friday.

The price of oil, which spiked because of sanctions against Russian oil, is down 21% to under $100 a barrel from its recent peak. But even though gasoline is made from oil, prices for the two commodities don’t move at the same speed. When gas follows oil upward, it rises like a rocket (after a bit of a lag), but in a downturn, it falls like a feather. It’s what economists have coined the “rockets and feathers” phenomenon.

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