LOS ANGELES (CBS) When the coronavirus pandemic forced millions to stay home, demand for gas dropped and so did prices at the pump. The national average fell to $1.74 a gallon in late April, according to GasBuddy.com. You could even find prices under a dollar in parts of the country.
But gas prices are rising as businesses reopen and more people are getting out of the house. Prices have jumped more than 35 cents a gallon in the past two months. Patrick DeHaan from GasBuddy.com expects the upward trend will continue.
"If the situation with coronavirus does improve, look for gas prices to spend much of the summer continuing to inch higher," he said.
The good news? Americans are still paying less than they did this time last year.
"Every state still far below last year by an average of 50 to 60 cents a gallon in many cases," DeHaan said. "We should remain well under last year for at least several weeks, if not through the rest of the summer."
But experts admit it's difficult to predict exactly what will happen in the middle of a pandemic that could get better or worse.