Gas prices slowly increasing: Experts don't expect major jump

Posted at 7:45 AM, May 20, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Gas prices have been remarkably cheap over the past few weeks, but we're slowly starting to see them increase. The national average is still only $1.87 a gallon - a 6 cent jump from last week. Lindsey Boetsch looks at how long these low gas prices will last.

If you’ve ventured out of your house in the past few weeks, you’ve likely noticed how cheap gas prices are. In fact, more than 75% of gas stations across the country have gas for less than $1.99 a gallon. AAA Spokesperson Jeanette Casselano says gas prices are so low right now for two reasons… crude oil prices and demand.

Typically crude oil and demand are very high this time of year. Though, given what’s happening with COVID-19 stay at home restrictions and limitations, both are extremely low.

She says crude oil is typically 50-70 dollars a barrel… right now, it’s about 20. And as those home orders are lifted and businesses start opening again, there will likely be an increase in demand.

Those states that are seeing the fluctuation and increases, those states are mostly states where you’re seeing more businesses opening. Social distancing recommendations still in line, but, more businesses opening and people venturing out.

Like in the Great Lakes region and the south and southeast. Casselano says the price of gas and how fast it rises will depend on demand. But she doesn’t expect the prices to make a dramatic jump.

In the past few weeks they’ve been about 5 million barrels a day. This time of the year it’s usually high 8s, 9 million barrels a day and only increasing because it’s summer and Memorial Day is around the corner and people are going to take their road trips.

She says the national average is still a dollar cheaper than it was a year ago, and she doesn’t expect to completely close that gap any time soon.