The national average price of gas drops as the New Year approaches, but will it stay that way?

"Curveballs are coming from every direction."

GasBuddy's 2023 Outlook said continuing improvement in refinery capacity will help alleviate gas and diesel prices, but with Russia's ongoing war on Ukraine and other economic factors, high levels of uncertainty remain.

The typical arch for gas prices starts to rise in the spring, with a $4 national average predicted ahead of the summer driving season, then a decline after Labor Day.

"Barring unexpected challenges, prices in 2023 should return to normal seasonal fluctuations" said the GasBuddy release.

While most U.S. cities will see an average gas price around $4, cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles may experience gas prices near $7 a gallon by summertime.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy said, "2023 is not going to be a cakewalk for motorists. It could be expensive."

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"Extreme amounts of volatility remain possible, but should become slightly more muted in the year ahead. I don’t think we’ve ever seen such an amount of volatility as we saw this year, and that will be a trend that likely continues to lead to wider uncertainty over fuel prices going into 2023.”

The highest gasoline prices are forecast to be seen in June, with an estimated peak of up to $4.19 per gallon on average.

Diesel prices are forecast to average $4.12 in 2023, beginning the year at their highest level and then rebounding as high as $4.30 per gallon in June.

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