With just weeks to go before Christmas, GasBuddy today announces a change in its Christmas gas price forecast: the national average will continue to gently decline into the holiday.
Previously, we had called for gasoline prices to be little changed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but with some weakness in wholesale gasoline prices and futures, I now feel that there's a good possibility that the national average could decline to $3.25-$3.35 in time for Christmas.
While this forecast would represent a decline of 5-15c/gal from where prices stand today, it would still mean record high gasoline prices on Christmas Day. For reference, Christmas Day 2011 saw a national average of $3.24/gal. The national average on previous Christmas Days: 2010- $3.03. 2009- $2.60. 2008- $1.65.
Many have been asking why this Christmas could set all time highs- and while that may be difficult to fully explain, one can look mostly to economic improvements to find fuel for the rally in gasoline prices. There have been other issues as well- gasoline inventories have remained tight for various reasons, whether it be refinery "accidents", fires, etc.
And if you think it's bad now, just wait. Final touches are being applied to the 2013 GasBuddy Annual Price Forecast- matte coating being added, glossy transparent covers, the works. But underneath all the shimmer of it may be some bad news for motorists.