GasBuddy forecasts highest gas prices in 3 years for 2017

(WANE Photo)

BOSTON (GasBuddy) – Motorists will be paying more for gas over the course of the year compared to 2016 as the national yearly average will rise to $2.49 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s 2017 Fuel Price Outlook. That figure is 36 cents higher than the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in 2016.

“The list of factors being mixed into the yearly forecast has never been larger. This year will see a new administration take over, perhaps the most oil-friendly in some time, and with so many unknowns in regards to policy changes, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on such along with taxation changes. But forecasting fuel prices, especially this year, remains a challenging balance of science and art,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

The following chart shows the national average since 2012:

(Provided Photo/WANE)
(Provided Photo/WANE)


Aside from gasoline prices that are forecast to be higher than 2016, highlights include:

$355 billion will be spent on gasoline in the U.S. over the course of the year, $52 billion more than last year. That’s a considerable jump given that motorists saved $39 billion on gasoline in 2016 versus 2015.

The seasonal switch from ‘winter-blend’ to ‘summer-blend’ as mandated by EPA and the Clean Air Act will bring a spike at the pump later this winter and spring, with the national average gas price rising between 35-60 cents between mid-February and a peak, likely to occur in May.

$3 a gallon gasoline will be seen in at least the nation’s largest cities: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, with a strong possibility of such prices also appearing in a majority of the nation’s twenty largest metros.