Summer 2010 U.S. Gas Prices

As summer looms closer, consumers are wondering where gas prices will end up this year. Vacation travel usually depends on low prices at the pump. And this year is likely to be no different. Some financial advisers speculate that consumers will be buying less gasoline and that could play a role in increasing gas prices, too. And increasing prices may mean that more vacations will be taken closer to home this year.

Despite continued economic hardship, however, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that taxes and retail distribution costs are generally stable, and that changes in crude oil prices and wholesale margins will dictate any movement in gasoline and diesel prices that consumers will see at the pumps.
What Are the Predictions for Summer 2010 Gas Prices in the U.S.?

The EIA projects crude oil prices to fluctuate on a daily basis, but expects an average cost of $81 per barrel for 2010, up more than 100 percent from its low of $35 in December 2008. The price is expected to increase to $85 by the forth quarter of 2011.

EIA forecasts that the summer 2010 driving season, the period from April 1 to September 30, will see regular-grade retail gas prices average at $2.92 per gallon, up from $2.42 per gallon last summer, meaning drivers with an average 15-gallon tank can expect to pay about $7.50 more per fill up.

EIA further forecasts that gas prices in some areas will exceed $3 per gallon at times during the driving season, and already exceed $3 per gallon in some areas. EIA predicts that the average U.S. pump price for regular gasoline is likely to exceed $3 per gallon by year’s end. However, because short-term prices can be quite volatile, weekly prices will differ from the monthly average. by Kathy Jesperson

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