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Gas prices keep setting new highs as the war in Ukraine rages on and demand for fuel continues unabated, begging the question of if and when will prices come down.
Nobody expects gas to return to the lows seen at the start of the pandemic, but there are some catalysts that could give consumers a little relief at the pump in the coming months.
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“It depends on a range of external circumstances, but I believe they will start softening or at least level off in June and July,” says Usha Haley, a professor of management at the Barton School of Business at Wichita State University. “I don’t know which month, as gas prices remain volatile.”
An end to the Ukraine war might do it
There are several reasons why consumers across the country are paying so much to fill up their vehicles. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a current catalyst. So is a switch on the part of refiners to a costlier summer blend of gasoline, which has lower vapor pressure, helping to prevent the evaporation of gas in the summer sun. Then there’s summer travel, which typically kicks off with Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. According to AAA, 80 percent to 90 percent of summer trips are made via motor vehicles. Such demand also drives prices higher. As of today a gallon of regular gas is at $4.76, setting an all-new record high, according to AAA. Some gas experts expect gas to soar above $5 per gallon before coming back down.