Brace Yourselves: Gas Prices Are Going To Climb Even Higher This Summer

So maybe you thought the gas prices had finally stopped ticking upward, but if you were entertaining that line of wishful thinking, well, you’re likely to be disappointed. The Energy Department is predicting that gas prices will rise about 6% this summer, up to 24 cents more a gallon during the peak driving season.

The L.A. Times says the summer driving season is defined as April through September, and they’ll be hard months on our wallets at the pump. Peak prices will average around $3.95 for a gallon of regular, a 6.3% increase from last year at the same time, according to the Energy Department’s Short-Term Energy Outlook.

May is expected to have the highest monthly average at $4.01, with a chance for $4 in June. Of course, prices will vary by region, with the West Coast leading with an average of about $4.20 for the season.

Because of the pain at the pump, gasoline consumption is expected to fall about 0.5% this summer, compared to the same time last year. Hop on those bikes and lace up your walking shoes, everybody!

However, it’s interesting to note that another interpretation of the numbers by analysts, as cited in this USA Today article, paints a rosier picture. Taking into account the falling price of crude oil and predictions on what a barrel will cost this summer, and the slowdown of the global economy, a few experts say prices won’t skyrocket as feared.

We’ll find out soon enough, eh?

Summer gas prices will climb 6%, Energy Department forecasts [Los Angeles Times]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.