The worst is over, for now. Gasoline prices are starting to fall.
After a four-month surge pushed gasoline to nearly $4 per gallon in early April, drivers, politicians and economists worried that gasoline prices might soar past all-time highs, denting wallets, angering voters and dragging down an economy that is struggling to grow.
Instead, pump prices have dropped 6 cents over two weeks to a national average on Friday of $3.88. Experts say gasoline could fall another nickel or more next week.
Drivers might also get to say something they haven’t since October 2009 — they’re paying less at the pump than they did a year ago.
“It’s nice, much more manageable,” said Mark Timko, who paid less than $4 per gallon Wednesday in the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge, Ill., for the first time since March. “I wasn’t sure how high they were going to go this year.”
Gasoline prices are lower than they were a year ago in 11 states, according to the Oil Price Information Service. At $3.88, the national average is still high, but it’s down from a peak of $3.94. Predictions of $5 gasoline earlier this year have — mercifully — evaporated.