US gasoline price at the pump falls below a symbolic threshold

(Washington) Gasoline prices in the United States fell below $4 a gallon for the first time in five months, a relief to American motorists and a boon to President Joe Biden a few months before the election midterm.

Posted at 12:20 p.m

US premium gas pump prices had climbed to a record $5.01 per gallon (3.78 liters) in mid-June, equivalent to $1.32 per liter, on the back of rising gross oil prices, particularly following the invasion of Ukraine .

According to the AAA Auto Association, the average price at the pump has fallen to $3.99 a gallon, the lowest since March but still 25% more expensive than a year ago.

The White House responded to this welcome downturn, hailing that “it’s giving all the families in the country some breathing room, a much-needed measure,” as Cecilia Rouse, head of the president’s economic advisors, put it.

“While this news is encouraging, we still have work to do to reduce inflation without sacrificing significant gains in the economy and jobs,” she added in a statement.

According to the AAA association, “despite the steady decline in petrol prices at the height of the summer travel season, fewer drivers filled up last week”.

“This is another sign that Americans are changing their driving habits for the time being to cope with higher gas pump prices,” adds AAA.

For Patrick De Haan, oil sector analyst at website Gasbuddy, “While the recent drop in gasoline prices is good news, the issues that drove the price rise are not fully resolved and could eventually push the price higher when something unexpected happens”.

“We’ve never seen anything like 2022 at the pumps […] between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused myriad imbalances, and Russia’s war against Ukraine,” the analyst recalled.

“As a result, we’ve seen gasoline prices move like never before from $3 to $5 and now back to $3.99.”

Joe Biden’s administration has been attempting to curb fuel prices amid high inflation, which displeases Americans. For months, the state has been tapping into US strategic oil reserves to put them on the market and depress crude oil prices.

The price of a barrel of American oil WTI, which peaked at over $123 in March after Russia invaded Ukraine, fell back below $100 at the end of July and was trading at around $93 on Thursday.

Leave a Comment