Lehigh Valley motorists benefited from falling gas prices over the summer, but some experts warn the downward trend could soon end.

According to the data, the average price of regular gasoline in the valley was $3.73 a gallon on Wednesday. AAA, about 10 cents below the national average. That’s a big difference from early June, when motorists here were paying an average of $5.06 a gallon, down $1.33.

The price is 49 kopecks more expensive than a year ago.

Price comparison site GasBuddy says the national average has been in freefall for 14 weeks at $3.65.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the lowest price in the Valley was $3.42 a gallon in Hanover Township, Northampton County, near Route 22, while some gas stations in Bethlehem were at $3.47, according to GasBuddy dollar.

In Easton, a few stations were still above the valley average, but across the river in Phillipsburg, N.J., several had prices between $3.09 and $3.19.

“With its 14th consecutive weekly decline, the national average gasoline price has surpassed 2018’s record decline and is on its longest losing streak since 2015,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, in blog post.

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Still, the weekly price change was just 4 cents, the smallest since prices began to plummet, AAA said. This could signal an imminent end to the streak.

“All streaks must end at some point, and the national average price for a gallon of gasoline has fallen $1.34 since its peak in mid-June,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a statement. “But there are major factors affecting global oil prices – war, COVID, economic recession and hurricane season. All of this uncertainty could push oil prices higher, which would likely lead to slightly higher pump prices.”

De Haan agreed, saying the shift to winter gasoline starting in the Midwest could have an effect, along with problems at refineries on the West Coast.

The good news, he added, is that diesel prices should continue to decline as inventories build.

According to the Energy Information Agency, demand also continued to decline, but this was countered by fluctuating oil prices.

At the end of trading on Wednesday, the price of crude oil was 83.62 dollars per barrel, continuing the slight increase in prices from the weekend.

Morning Call reporter Evan Jones can be reached at ejones@mcall.com.


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