It’s hard to remember the last time gas prices were actually falling this time of year, but will that trend continue as spring turns to summer?
Prices at the pump have plunged by forty cents in the last month and a half, with Alabama’s average price for regular unleaded now the second-cheapest in America. According to AAA, a gallon of regular unleaded cost $3.32 in Alabama on Memorial Day, bested only by South Carolina’s average of $3.27.
The recent drop has defied many of the fuel forecasts given earlier this year, but analysts say there’s still plenty of time for prices to go back up. Some fuel trackers said current prices are now more in line with natural levels of supply and demand, which may have been artificially inflated by skittish investors back in early spring. But many of those same analysts believe a thirty to fifty cent price spike is just around the corner, leaving many area drivers less than optimistic.
“It don’t feel like that at all,” said Michael Robinson, when asked about Alabama’s current gas price ranking. “Gas prices are a little ridiculous right now…It’s going to go back up, I just have that feeling.”
Some motorists said they have already planned to scale back summer travel plans, regardless of whether prices go up or stay level.
“I don’t think we are going to venture out too far,” said motorist Charity Williams. “It’s still not a great economy to have a big vacation like you would plan ten years ago…By the end of summer, prices will probably be right back up to $3.75.”
This year’s Memorial Day weekend saw the third highest ever fuel prices for the traditional holiday that kicks off summer.