Motorists may have a few more dollars in their wallets for holiday presents come the end of the year.Analysts at the website GasBuddy.com are predicting gasoline prices will begin to drop next month with the result being a national average of $1.98 per gallon by Christmas.In a press release issued on Friday, July 31, GasBuddy said as many as 20 states could have average gas prices below $2 per gallon by the end of the year. Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts are not among them.\u201cWe\u2019re confident that our projections give consumers more than accuracy; we think they\u2019ll help them identify some savings that should come in handy at Thanksgiving and Christmas,\u201d said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.\u201cIt\u2019s interesting to remember that last year the national average shed more than $1.27 from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, when the U.S. average was $2.24,\u201d DeHaan said. \u201cThis year, if we see just half of that decline it will bring us to below $2 per gallon.\u201dContributing to the positive forecast are regional, national and global supply-and-demand fundamentals that continue to place more downward pressure on crude oil prices than upward pressure, and that trend is expected to continue well into 2016, GasBuddy said.\u201cAs motorists wrap up their summer vacation road trips, demand for gasoline slips in autumn and winter. At the same time, refining margins are strong and with the switch to cheaper winter-grade gasoline in the coming month, ample supply of discounted gasoline will be available to motorists. It\u2019s the perfect recipe for savings at the pump til the end of the year,\u201d said Will Speer, another senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.At the end of July 30, crude oil was trading on the commodities market at $48.52 per barrel. A year ago, oil was trading at just under $100 per barrel.The states where GasBuddy says gasoline prices are most likely to average $1.99 per gallon by Christmas are:Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.