Gasoline prices in the United States have fallen for 57 consecutive days since reaching a high of more than $5 a gallon in June.
The national average price of gas was $4.01 on Wednesday, according to AAA. That’s higher than it was a year ago but still well below the record of nearly $5.02 in mid-June (not adjusted for inflation). Energy costs feed into broad measures of inflation, so the drop is also good news for policymakers who have made limiting the fuel price increases a priority.
The drop reflects a number of factors: Weaker demand because high costs have kept some drivers off the roads; a decline in global oil prices in recent months; and a handful of states suspending taxes on gasoline. The decline has been welcomed by the Biden administration, which for months has been orchestrating a campaign to lower gas prices and criticizing energy companies for profiting at the expense of American consumers.
The drop in the price of gas is also a positive signal for the economy, as businesses face less pressure to pass energy costs on to their customers — a move that would add to the country’s inflation problem.