What You Need to Know:

Tens of millions of Americans hit the roads over the Thanksgiving holiday, even as gas prices are still on the rise in many parts of the country. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), on average, gas prices have nearly tripled in the last 12 to 18 months. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is currently $3.40.

For West Coast drivers, the prices are even higher. California recently surpassed its record high average price at $4.68/gallon. Transportation analysts report that lower prices are often seen in the South. Two states are reporting average gas prices right around $3/gallon, Oklahoma and Texas. 

This week President Biden announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in efforts to bring gas prices down. But how soon and how much? Neither Mr. Biden, nor Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has the specifics, but they add they are hoping to stem the pain at the pump.

Before taking off for the holiday, President Biden spoke at the White House.

“While our combined actions will not solve the problems of high gas prices overnight, it will make a difference. It will take time, but before long you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank.”

Analysts report the government will begin to move the reserve barrels in mid-to-late December. 

Overall, prices for U.S. consumers increased over 6% in October compared to one year ago as costs have jumped for food, gas, and housing with the highest inflation rate since 1990. Economists report they expect that inflation will slow down once supply chains untangle and Americans resume pre-pandemic lifestyles.  In some areas of the country already experiencing cold temperatures, consumers are feeling the pinch of higher heating bills. 

Economists still expect Indy to slow once supply bottlenecks are cleared and Americans shift more of their consumption back to pre-pandemic “norms.” As Covid fades, consumers should spend more on travel, entertainment, and other services and less on items like cars, furniture, and appliances, which in turn, will reduce pressure on supply chains.