Los Angeles–area gas prices seemed to spike at the worst time, during the peak summer driving season.
But experts say they're finally settling down.
Fuel pump comparison app and website GasBuddy.com says retail prices in the Los Angeles area have dropped nearly 10 cents per gallon in the last week. Hallelujah! The app looked at prices posted by 2,135 gas outlets in Los Angeles.
The average price for a gallon of gas, however, remains high, at $4.16, says GasBuddy. That's better than what we've been seeing since earlier in the month, when low inventories of California-specific fuel sparked historic price increases, but it's still high relative to the rest of the nation.
“It was the ramifications of demand outpacing supply,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, told us.
The American average for a gallon of gas is, gulp, $2,73 a gallon, according to the site. Dream on.
L.A.-area prices were still 15.5 cents higher per gallon than a year ago and 60.2 cents higher per gallon than before the latest climb last month, the app says.
On Friday the Auto Club of Southern California declared our summer gas nightmare “over” for now.
“While this last gas price spike was particularly sudden and large, Southern California drivers are still saving a lot of money at the pump in 2015 compared to last year,” said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring.
The bad news is that the dip in prices could stall out. DeHaan says an slight increase in wholesale prices, about 30 cents per gallon since Friday, could slow down the dive or even give us another slight increase.
“There's still so much downward pressure on prices that this will slow the rate of decrease,” he said. The dip “may stall out as those wholesale increases show up. I can't rule out a slight increase.”
Fill up now if you can.
Longer-term, the news is better. As fall nears, demand goes down, and so do prices. Usually. DeHaan:
For now, it would appear that the latter half of the summer will bring cheaper gas prices than the first half, while this autumn is shaping up to give this past winter a run for its money in terms of cheap gas prices.