GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As the Grand Rapids area has seen a steady decline in gas prices in the final months of 2022, fuel is predicted to cost less on average in 2023.
In its year-end report on Dec. 28, the fuel analysis company GasBuddy predicted the average gas price for 2023 to fall to $3.49 per gallon — nearly 50 cents from its 2022 average.
Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said that prices are likely to be lower on average in 2023, but uncertainty and potential price hikes could also occur.
"A little bit of good news is that the average price for a gallon of gasoline in 2023 will generally be lower than 2022," DeHaan said. "But there will be some ups and downs and we're starting the new year with some of the lowest prices we've seen in 18 months."
In 2022, factors such as refinery explosions and Russia's war in Ukraine shook the global oil market and sent fuel price shocks rippling throughout the U.S.
With certain factors returning to normalcy after a year of volatility, DeHaan said price fluctuations were likely to return to their more predictable, seasonal patterns that will see demand and prices peak into the spring and summer.
He also emphasized the importance of drivers budgeting and preparing for any potential uncertainty and seasonal price hikes that could happen.
"I would say set aside a budget that assumes that gas prices are going to be somewhere around four dollars a gallon this year because, while prices in some areas of Grand Rapids are under three dollars and West Michigan's below three dollars, that's going to rapidly change as we head towards the spring and demand goes up for gasoline," DeHaan said.
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