GasBuddy, a fuel savings platform providing predicts that 2022 may bring more sharp increases to gas prices — straining motorists’ wallets even more than the steep hikes of 2021.
A national average of $4 per gallon is possible this spring, largely due to pandemic recovery and rising demand before relief, or additional oil supply, arrives later in 2022. GasBuddy expects the 2022 yearly national average gas price will rise from 2021’s $3.02 to $3.41 per gallon.
Key highlights from GasBuddy’s 2022 fuel price outlook:
• The national average price of gasoline is forecast to climb early in the year, peaking as high as $4.13 per gallon in June. After a hot start to the summer, prices should begin to decline, falling back to potentially just under $3 per gallon by the holiday season.
• Most major U.S. cities could see prices peak around or just short of $4 per gallon, though some Californian cities such as San Francisco and Sacramento could see average prices soar to over $5 per gallon.
• The nation’s yearly gasoline bill will rise to nearly $485 billion, an increase of nearly $80 billion from last year as the average household sees their annual gasoline spending rise to $2,341, the highest tally since 2014.
“While Americans are likely to see higher prices in 2022, it’s a sign that the economy continues to recover from COVID-19. The higher prices go, the stronger the economy is. No one would love to see $4 per gallon gasoline, but we’ll only get there on the back of a very strong economy, so it’s not necessarily bad news,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “There remains higher uncertainty than in a non-COVID year, but all signs point to gas prices remaining elevated next year until the high prices attract additional oil supply, which will help prices cool off as we end 2022.”