Prices at the gas pump could fall further this week. Gasoline prices have tumbled nearly 10 percent from their peak level above $4-a-gallon last month, and crude oil prices have dropped even faster.
What goes up must come down — and oil prices have been coming down hard.
Analyst Phil Flynn of Alaron Trading in Chicago says this summer's sky-high oil and gasoline prices have turned out to be self-correcting, as consumers and businesses look for ways to cut back on energy use.
"High prices cure high prices. And if prices go up too fast, demand will fall and prices will fall. And I just think that's a lesson that we're learning once again," Flynn said.
To be sure, oil and gasoline prices are still high by historical standards. And they could start climbing again, if tension in Georgia threatens the flow of oil through pipelines there, for example. But geopolitical worries did nothing to arrest the drop in oil prices last week, and Flynn says the roller coaster hasn't reached the bottom yet.
"My gut feeling is that we're going to see oil prices continue to go lower, and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw gasoline prices continue to go lower. It seems with the dollar getting stronger, and demand dropping off, it's really pressuring prices to the down side."
So far, oil prices have fallen more than twice as far as gasoline prices, suggesting that even if crude oil prices level off, there's room for additional savings at the gas pump.