DALLAS — The Energy Information Administration has lowered its forecast for summer 2013 gasoline prices.
U.S. consumers will pay an average 16 cents a gallon less for gasoline this summer than a year ago, the statistical arm of the Energy Department said Tuesday in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. The EIA’s April forecast predicted prices would average 6 cents a gallon less than in 2012.
The agency expects regular-grade gasoline will hover around $3.50 a gallon from April through September, down from the April estimate of 10 cents higher. Diesel fuel will average $3.90 a gallon, less than the prior forecast of almost $4. These numbers are nationwide approximations.
The drop is big: Regular gasoline, which averaged $3.538 a gallon nationwide in the just-ended week, is 25.2 cents a gallon below a year ago. And in 2014, prices may average $3.40 in 2014.
As the EIA lowered its forecast for gasoline prices at the pump for all of 2013, it also reduced its estimate for demand.
Fuel consumption this year will average 8.68 million barrels a day; demand in 2014 may be a bit higher, at 8.69 million barrels a day. Distillate demand, including diesel and heating oil, will be 3.8 million barrels a day this year.