Indiana gas prices fall for Christmas

INDIANAPOLIS — Are lower gas prices on your Christmas wish list? Analysts are predicting that the national price of gasoline could fall below $3 a gallon by Christmas, but that’s not all good news.

Analysts at AAA say the nationwide average pump price of a gallon of gasoline has fallen 12 cents over the past week. This is the sharpest weekly drop since early August. The national average is down 22 cents from the previous month but still remains 15 cents a gallon higher than this time last year.

GasBuddy analysts say as Americans headed into Thanksgiving, a new record was set for the largest single-day drop in the national average. They say many areas are falling to their lowest levels since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

“It’s entirely possible that the national median price of gasoline will fall below $3 a gallon by Christmas, which would be a huge gift to motorists after a dizzying year at the pump,” said Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s director of petroleum analysis.

At the time of this writing, the average gas price in Indiana is $3,611, the only neighboring state with a higher average gas price is Illinois. The cheapest gas prices can be found in Evansville with an average price of $3,237 for regular gasoline. Bloomington has the most expensive gas prices at $3,932.

Not only have regular gas prices fallen nationwide, according to GasBuddy, diesel prices have also fallen in 47 states, bringing relief ahead of the holiday season and helping to stem the rise in inflation.

However, falling gas prices come as oil prices fall amid fears of a global economic slowdown. GasBuddy analysts say oil prices are under heavy selling pressure as China faces protests over its zero-Covid policy and major city shutdowns.

Adding to China’s Covid crisis, GasBuddy says the Biden government has allowed Chevron to export crude oil from Venezuela as the government sets the stage for discussions about future exports and increases downward pressure on oil.

An upcoming meeting could cause gas prices to rise again. AAA reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, are meeting on December 4. In October, the organization decided to cut its collective crude oil production. If they decide to revise this agreement, prices could go up.