National gas price average dips below $2

GasBuddyThe U.S. national average for gasoline has just fallen to $1.99 per gallon, the first time since March 23, 2016, according to GasBuddy.

The national average could even dip to $1.49 by mid-April, the lowest since 2004, with potentially hundreds of stations pushing their price to 99 cents per gallon for the first time since the early 2000s.

Gasoline prices have continuously dropped nationwide since Feb. 20, as the coronavirus crushes the demand for oil and lockdowns reduce driving and keep Americans home.

The price drops have been so swift and severe that it could take gas stations weeks to fully pass along the lower prices.

“This is an unprecedented event. We’re experiencing one of the biggest historical collapses in gas prices, including the Great Recession of 2008,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “World demand for oil has plummeted virtually overnight while domestic demand for gasoline continues to fall off a cliff with more states implementing shelter-in-place orders. Prices will continue to fall in the days ahead with currently no end in sight. Motorists need not be in any hurry to fill up, and those who do should be shopping around as prices will continue to race lower. While some lucky Americans may be able to fill for 99 cents per gallon.”

Recent history

  • 2016: The last time the national average has been this low was March 23, 2016, caused by a crash in the oil market. During that period, the national average stayed below $1.99 for nearly three months, from Jan. 2 through March 23, bottoming at $1.66 per gallon on Feb. 14.
  • 2009: The Great Recession pushed the national average below $1.99 per gallon for roughly four months from Nov. 20, 2008 to March 25, 2009, bottoming at $1.59 on Dec. 29, 2008. Prices eventually staged a major recovery in 2010 and stayed high until 2014.

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