AAA: Gas prices continue to fall as Thanksgiving holiday approaches
Drivers are benefitting from relative savings in the price of retail gasoline with today’s average 9 cents less per gallon than one week ago and 14 cents less than one month ago. The price of crude oil remains noticeably low compared to previous years, and as a result, retail averages are down 75 cents per gallon year-over-year.
AAA believes that average U.S. prices should continue to decline and could drop below $2 per gallon by Christmas for the first time since 2009.
WTI closed Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, down 34 cents from last week, settling at $40.39 per barrel. Traders are following the recent terrorist attacks in France to determine what effects it may have on the market. Global supply continues to outpace demand, while a strengthening U.S. dollar is expected to keep a ceiling on prices into 2016. U.S. crude oil inventories continue to build, and according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, are within reach of hitting record levels set in April.
“As Americans gear up for Thanksgiving travel, the estimated 42 million traveling by car will likely pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008,” said Martha M. Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Lower prices are helping boost disposable income and enabling families to kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway.”
AAA projects 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, marking the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel and the highest volume for the holiday since 2007. Of those traveling, almost 90 percent of travelers (41.9 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)