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US gas is cheaper than before Russia invaded Ukraine


New York CNN—

Prices at the pump continue to plunge, pushing the US average for gasoline below what it was when Russia invaded Ukraine.

A gallon of regular gas now costs $3.47 nationally, according to AAA. This is below the average of $3.54 on February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine.

That’s down from about 12 cents last week and 29 cents last month.

This week marks the first time since February that the national average has fallen below $3.50 a gallon. Gas prices rose in January and February as investors worried about disruption caused by a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A range of factors have led to lower gasoline prices and not all of them are positive. Fears of a potential recession and worries about Covid lockdowns in China hurt energy prices. Other factors include fewer disruptions to Russian oil flows than expected and the Biden administration’s record release of oil from emergency reserves.

Although gas prices are still relatively high for this time of year, they have also completely reversed the spike caused by the war in Ukraine. This spike worsened inflation and set off alarm bells around the world.

The national average is now down $1.55 since hitting a record high of $5.02 a gallon last June.

Looking ahead, some forecasters see gas prices continuing to fall, although there remains uncertainty over where oil prices go from here due to questions about OPEC policy and the Covid lockdowns in China.

Andy Lipow, president of consulting firm Lipow Oil Associates, says the national gasoline average could drop to $3.28 by Christmas. That would mean lower prices this Christmas than last year.

GasBuddy, an app that tracks fuel prices, is even more bullish, saying this week that gas prices could drop below $3 a gallon by Christmas.

Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy, said it would be a huge gift for motorists to unwrap after a dizzying year at the pumps.




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