NEW YORK - Motorists should expect higher fuel prices across the country as warmer weather hits, experts say.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.30, unchanged from last week. Drivers were paying $2.36 a gallon on average a year ago at this time.
The United States is in a lull period now but high prices return by March, April, and May and could hit $4 per gallon, according to GasBuddy analyst and writer Patrick De Haan. He added that higher gas prices have a silver lining.
"While Americans are likely to see higher prices in 2022, it's a sign that the economy continues to recover from Covid-19. The higher prices go, the stronger the economy is," De Haan said. "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."
GasBuddy expects the 2022 yearly national average gas price will rise from 2021's $3.02 to $3.41 per gallon. Declining production and political instability in Kazakhstan and Libya are also factors in higher prices. The price of crude oil topped $80 a barrel this week for the first time this year.
Some gas stations in Manhattan were selling a gallon of supreme for more than $5 as recently as October 2021. AAA Mid-Atlantic said the average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey on Friday was $3.37, down a penny from last week. Drivers were paying an average of $2.51 a gallon a year ago at this time.
"There remains higher uncertainty than in a non-Covid year, but all signs point to gas prices remaining elevated [in 2022] until the high prices attract additional oil supply, which will help prices cool off as we end 2022," De Haan said.
With The Associated Press and Fox News.