Rising and falling gas prices have been popular topics on Twitter and other social media, with a daily count happening for how many consecutive days they’ve dropped.
And they’ve dropped enough, according to AAA, to fall below $4 per gallon for the first time in five months.
AAA said Thursday the national average for a gallon of regular gas had dropped to $3.99. Prices have dropped 15 cents in the past week and 68 cents in the last month, according to the auto club.
The shopping app GasBuddy reported that the national average was already down to $3.98 on Wednesday, the Associated Press and CBS News reported.
The last time the nationwide average for gas was under $4 was early March. Prices peaked at $5.02 a gallon on June 14, according to AAA, then started declining slowly. The fall picked up steam after that.
Drivers in California and Hawaii are still paying above $5. The lowest gas is in Texas and several other states in the South and Midwest.
A year ago, the nationwide average price was around $3.20 a gallon.
Oil prices began rising in mid-2020 as economies recovered from the initial shock of the pandemic. They went up again when the U.S. and allies sanctioned Russian oil over Russia’s war against Ukraine.
The AP reported that U.S. benchmark crude oil has recently dipped close to $90 a barrel from over $120 a barrel in June.
Gasoline demand in early August was down 3.3% from the same week last year after tracking more closely to 2021 numbers earlier in the summer.
“We have seen some of what we call ‘demand destruction’ — people choosing not to buy gasoline because it’s so expensive,” Ellen Wald, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told CBS. “(Also), fears we could be entering a global recession could be driving prices down.”
Prices at the pump are likely to be a major issue heading into the mid-term elections in November.