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U.S. drivers are facing the highest gasoline prices for the 4th of July on record, but these are unlikely to curb Americans' appetite for road trips this summer, analysts at fuel-savings app GasBuddy said on Thursday.
Gasoline prices are expected to drop by 10 to 20 cents from now until Independence Day, although it's not a given that the decline will stick, according to GasBuddy.
Over the past week, international crude oil prices—the single biggest factor in U.S. gasoline pricing—have slumped to around $110 per barrel due to market fears that the aggressive interest hikes to curb inflation would lead to a recession within a year.
Still, gasoline prices for Independence Day this year are set for a record national average for July 4 at $4.85 per gallon, GasBuddy has estimated.
Drivers were already determined to get out on the road for Independence Day despite the high prices and before the most recent small relief at the pump, GasBuddy noted on Thursday.
"It's been a scorching summer at the pump with record prices set in every state. While we may see brief relief here and there, the high prices don't seem to be holding many Americans back from hitting the road with the economy fully reopen," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
"While we may see relief as we approach July 4, and potentially after, the volatility in markets remains high. We still could see a super spike in gas prices later this summer, should a hurricane threaten Gulf Coast oil refineries or oil platforms. Motorists should know that while we may see small relief today, risks remain that prices could go up at a moment's notice and set new records again," De Haan warned.
Desperate to bring prices down, President Joe Biden called on Congress on Wednesday to suspend the federal gas tax for the next 90 days. However, resistance in Congress—even from the President's own party—could stymie the idea altogether.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.