(ABC4) – Enjoy the gas prices now because industry experts say prices are bound to surge in 2022.
A new study by GasBuddy shows the high-priced gas woes of 2021 will be continuing in the new year, with national average gas prices possibly hitting $4 per gallon by spring 2022.
Industry forecasts show national averages of 2022 will rise from $3.02 per gallon to $3.41 per gallon. Pricing could hit a peak around June 2022, soaring to an average of $4.13 per gallon.
Major cities will be the hardest hit — folks in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Sacramento and New York City should prepare to pay well over $4 per gallon in 2022.
“While Americans are likely to see higher prices in 2022, it’s a sign that the economy continues to recover from COVID-19,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “The higher prices go, the stronger the economy is. No one would love to see $4 per gallon gasoline, but we’ll only get there on the back of a very strong economy, so it’s not necessarily bad news. There remains higher uncertainty than in a non-Covid year, but all signs point to gas prices remaining elevated next year until the high prices attract additional oil supply, which will help prices cool off as we end 2022.”
Lots of factors can cause gas prices to fluctuate including weather events, federal regulations, supply and demand, policy shifts, refinery closures and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of oil refineries throughout 2020, creating a ripple effect. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the beginning of 2021 marks the lowest annual refinery capacity since 2015.
To check out the full study and gas price breakdowns, click here.