Retail averages held relatively steady week-over-week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern region, moving by +/- 2 cents per gallon over this period. Today’s national average price of $2.28 per gallon represents a savings of four cents per gallon on the week and four cents per gallon on the month. Year-over-year drivers continue to benefit from noticeable discounts with prices down 48 cents per gallon versus this same date last year.
“Road trips will rule the Independence Day weekend, as travelers hit the road in record numbers for the second three-day weekend of summer,” said Martha Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Motorists will enjoy the lowest gas prices for the holiday since 2005, fueling a summer driving season that is likely to set records for both gasoline demand and vehicle miles traveled.”
AAA forecasts nearly 43 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend, the most on record and 5 million more than Memorial Day. Approximately 36.3 million of those travelers will get to their holiday destination by car, an increase of 1.2 percent over last year and the third consecutive year of all-time high auto travelers.
Low gas prices remain an incentive for those hitting the road this holiday, as U.S. drivers have saved about $20 billion on gasoline so far this year as compared to this same time period last year.
At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed down $1.78 cents from last week to settle at $48.33 per barrel. The global oil market has been characterized by extreme oversupply for the better part of the year, but the tide appeared to be turning thanks to record gasoline demand from the U.S. and expectations that demand from other nations would also grow.
The Brexit put a damper on these speculations because it contributed to the U.S. dollar gaining strength. A strong dollar makes crude oil more expensive for countries holding other currencies, which limits purchasing power, and could reduce global crude oil demand.