Prediction: Will Gas Prices Go Up or Down?

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Are you traveling by car soon? The gradual fall in gas prices over the past several months has been a welcome respite for our wallets. Will this trend continue? Money expert Clark Howard predicts good news at the pump for a few reasons.

Why Are Gas Prices Going Down?

Gas prices are going down because the demand for oil and gas continues to ease amid global recession fears, according to OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries).

The organization’s Monthly Oil Market Report for December 2022 says of crude oil spot prices: “Pressure on futures prices persisted as the outlook for oil demand deteriorated due to extended lockdowns in China and worries that continuing aggressive monetary tightening from major central banks could hinder economic growth.”

Clark says recent data show that prices are dropping across many sectors of the U.S. economy.

“And it’s not just these crazy moves with gasoline,” he says. “You might have heard that we had a really good inflation report last month, and there’s a new report from the Adobe Digital Price Index that finds that online purchasing of goods has been going down and down and down month after month. And so we’ve had prices earlier that were going up, up and away, and now the reverse is happening and in a lot of product categories, prices are going down.”

The index, which tracked transactions from November 2021 to November 2022, also showed that online prices dipped nearly 2% in that time and fell 3.2% compared to October.

Such glad tidings bode well for the future regarding consumer goods, including gasoline, Clark says.

“Prices are now lower than they were before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he says. “And not only have gas prices been coming down, but what truckers have had to pay is going down – not as fast, but coming down.”

What Is the Average Price of Gas Right Now?

To support Clark’s point, we looked up gas prices around the nation, according to

Gas prices United States map

Screenshot via on December 19, 2022


“In the low-gas price states, prices are in the $2s again per gallon. And that’s like money back in your pocket,” Clark says. “Earlier this year, when you went to fill up, money was flying out of your pocket, and now the reverse has happened and that fillup is costing a whole lot less.

How To Spend Less on Gas Right Now

Good prices at the pump don’t have to mean bad choices for your wallet when it comes to paying for fuel. Here are some tips to save money on gas:

1. Cut Down on Idling Your Engine

It may be normal for you to idle your engine before you start your drive, especially in cold weather. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’re wasting money.

“Idling can use a quarter to a half-gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use, adding up to three cents of wasted fuel a minute,” the agency says.

2. Don’t Speed

Lowering your speed can translate into savings at the pump, according to the federal government’s 2022 Fuel Economy Guide.

“Each 5 MPH you drive over 60 MPH can reduce your fuel economy by 7%,” the guide says.

You can look up a more personalized estimate of your vehicle’s fuel economy on the website’s Find Your Car page.

3. Download Gas Apps

Clark is a fan of using gas apps to help you find the cheapest prices in your area.

“If you use an app like GasBuddy, you’re able to see right on your phone right near where you are the cheapest price for a gallon of gas,” Clark says.

We also have a full review on the Upside app to help you save on gas.


Final Thought

Clark says no matter what you pay for gas, be mindful that it will cost you more if you let your tank get low. To avoid paying an even higher price for gas out of desperation, try to keep plenty of gas in your tank.

“You don’t wait until you’re on fumes to look for gasoline, especially in a time like this,” he says.

How are gas prices affecting your wallet? Tell us about gas prices in your area in our Community.

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