gasoline futuresJanuary 2nd, 2019

Gasoline prices at the pump have dropped to their lowest in about a year and half, but could jump by 35% as soon as May, with output cuts by major oil producers expected to boost the price of oil, according to gasoline-price tracker GasBuddy.

The national average price for gallon of gasoline got its lowest start to a year since 2016, “when the national average was also near free fall and eventually hit $1.66 a gallon, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

At an average of $2.229 Wednesday afternoon, gasoline prices were at their cheapest since July 2, 2017, he said, adding that a price of $2.22 would be the lowest since President Donald Trump entered office.

Prices have declined “nearly every day for the last 80 or so,” DeHaan said. “Americans are spending $260 million less on gasoline today than they did some 80 days ago.”

GasBuddy’s 2019 gasoline forecast released Wednesday shows gasoline averaging $2.70 a gallon this year. That would mark a modest three-cent decline from the average for 2018.

In a tweet early Wednesday, President Donald Trump said the low gas prices “are like another Tax Cut!”

Trump’s actions on trade with China will have a big impact on retail prices for gasoline, said DeHaan. “I really see his decision playing a decent size role,” he said, with a China trade deal being “big enough to push the economy up or down, depending on specifics.”

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