Gas prices are expected to drop nationwide by Christmas time, including in California.
The Central Valley can expect gas prices to drop to $2.60 to $2.70 per gallon by the end of the year, said Will Speer, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. Projections statewide are $2.64 to $2.74 per gallon by year’s end, he added.
GasBuddy projects that the per-gallon national average will drop to $2.54 in August and continue to plummet to $1.98 in December, with average gas prices in as many as 20 states falling below $2 per gallon by year’s end.
Fresno’s prices for unleaded gas have climbed about 7 cents from what they were a month ago, reaching about $3.46 per gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA’s fuel gauge report. Prices in the Visalia-Tulare-Porterville area have climbed about 10 cents in the past month, reaching about $3.43.
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The state average for unleaded gas is about $3.72 a gallon, with residents paying the highest prices in the nation.
As summer road trips come to an end, there’s a decrease in gas demand along with a switch to cheaper winter-grade gas, Speer said.
Prices of gas drop even as Americans break mileage records. The Federal Highway Administration’s most recent update on vehicle miles traveled show that for the first five months of 2015, U.S. motorists had logged around 1.26 trillion vehicle miles of travel. Americans are predicted to travel about 3.08 trillion vehicle miles for the entire year, higher than the approximately 3.02 trillion vehicle miles logged in 2007.
Sarah Anderson: (559) 441-6248; @Sarahsonofander