Gas Prices

Gas prices, now below $2 a gallon in many places, could rise $1 or more per gallon by May, according to GasBuddy.

Those low gas prices you've been enjoying for the past few weeks may not be around much longer, and prices may soar later this year.

That's the prediction from GasBuddy.com, which released its 2019 price forecast Wednesday.

GasBuddy predicts the national average for the year will be $2.70 a gallon for unleaded gas, which would be 3 cents lower than the average for 2018. But it also says prices could spike as much as $1 between now and May, with many areas of the country seeing $3-a-gallon-gas in the run-up to the summer driving season.

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Gas prices currently are below $2 a gallon at thousands of stations around the country, including dozens in Lincoln. Though the average per-gallon price in Lincoln held steady at $2.06 Wednesday, according to AAA, prices are as low as $1.84, according to GasBuddy.

“While the bargain-basement gas prices we’ve been seeing in areas across the country have been terrific and most welcomed, the party at the pump will likely wrap up in the next month or two, and prices will begin to rally as OPEC production cuts and a strong U.S. economy push gas prices back up," Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a news release.

The typical American family will spend $1,991 on gas in 2019 — $25 less than the previous year, according to GasBuddy. Americans are forecast to spend $386 billion on gasoline in 2019.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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