The Balance is here to help you navigate your financial life. To that end, we track the money-related questions you most search on Google so we know what’s on your mind. Here are the answers to your most recent inquiries about gas prices.
Are gas prices going to keep rising? Where will prices peak? When will they go back down?
After gas prices spiked to record highs in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, everyone—especially those with gas-burning vehicles—wants to know whether prices have hit their peak and when they might retreat.
No one knows those answers for sure, but by one measure prices have already turned a corner, at least in the short run:
National average gas prices were declining Friday afternoon, according to GasBuddy, a gas price-tracking website, which showed them down 0.8 cents a gallon as of 1:14 p.m. Prices should ease further in the next few days, but that could change quickly, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said on Twitter.
Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for AAA, which tracks national pump prices every day, said it’s uncertain which way it could go.
“We don’t know,” he said. “It all really depends on the course of this war and the sanctions and the effect it's having on the supply of oil.”
The price of gas is linked to the price of the crude oil it’s made from, and oil has surged in the last week as sanctions disrupted the oil supply from Russia, a major supplier to the world market. The good news is that prices have come back down considerably, from a recent high of $130 a barrel Monday down to around $109 Friday afternoon. It’s possible that oil’s slide has already taken the upward pressure off gas prices, Gross said.
The price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas on Friday averaged $4.33 nationwide, up from $4.32 the previous day and $2.83 a year ago, according to AAA’s data. Friday’s was the smallest one-day jump since March 1, and a reason for a bit of optimism—though one that should be taken with a big grain of salt.
“That’s only one day, and in one day, you can’t really judge a trend,” Gross said. “Is it just taking a breather? We don’t know."
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