June 26–Drivers hitting the road for Fourth of July will pay nearly 60 cents a gallon more than last year, the highest average price since 2014.
But the price is down 12 cents since Memorial Day, according to the American Automobile Association.
A record 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Independence Day holiday, an increase of more than 5 percent more from last year, according to the AAA. An estimated 39.7 million of those travelers will drive.
The group attributes the increase, in part, to a strong U.S. economy and Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday.
“Drivers must be prepared for delays around major metros,” said Scott Sedlik, a vice president with the travel analytics company INRIX, which prepared Fourth of July travel report for the AAA. “Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, Tuesday afternoon will hands down be the worst time to be on the road.”
Here’s a look at gas prices as the holiday nears, according to GasBuddy:
A gallon of regular cost an average $2.67 today in the Houma-Thibodaux metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. The price is up 6 cents from last week, down 4 cents from a month ago and up 53 cents from the same time last year.
Louisiana’s average is $2.54 per gallon, down 6 cents for the week and 14 cents for the month but up 48 cents compared to a year ago. The AAA said today that Louisiana’s average was the fifth lowest in the U.S.
The U.S. average is $2.83 per gallon, down 5 cents for the week and 14 cents for the month but up 58 cents from a year ago.
Prices may be poised to drop following Saturday’s decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to increase production, analysts said.
“The OPEC production increase will help to offset concerns of shrinking global supply caused by high global demand this year,” Jeanette Casselano, an AAA spokeswoman, said in a news release. “For drivers in the U.S., pump prices likely will not see an impact immediately. Changes, and most likely not dramatic ones, are anticipated to hit pump prices late summer or early fall.”
This decision was made after the U.S., China and India voiced support for an increase to prevent an oil deficit that could stifle economic growth in the latter half of 2018.
“OPEC agreed to increase oil production by just 600 thousand barrels a day, well short of expectations amidst a hot global and U.S. economy,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Crude oil prices responded by skyrocketing over 5 percent Friday while refined products, including gasoline, rose 2 percent. The worry is the rally may continue into this week as motorists prepare for the upcoming July 4 weekend. The decision may lead to an abrupt end in recent gas price declines, or may slow it down just as gasoline prices had been catching up to the prior slump in crude oil.”
— Staff Writer Scott McLendon can be reached at: 857-2204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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