25 May 2012 19:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Automobile travel for the US Memorial Day holiday weekend may be boosted by the recent drop in gasoline prices, analysts said on Friday.
US automobile organization AAA has forecast that 30.7m Americans will drive 50 miles (80 km) or more from their home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. This is an increase of 1.2% from one year prior. In 2011, AAA said there were 30.3m for the holiday weekend.
“I think it might be better than that,” said analyst Phil Flynn with PFGBest. “The retail gasoline price drop should inspire some last minute trips. People may feel a bit richer and celebrate by taking to the open road!”
Analyst Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.com, agreed, saying, “Gasoline prices peaked in April, giving motorists plenty of time to see falling gasoline prices in much of the states before making the final determination in their driving destination.”
The AAA reported the national average price for self-serve gasoline reached a 2012 high at $3.93/gal for the week ended 9 April.
DeHaan said that the increase in holiday travellers could be a sign of US economic recovery, but added that it’s most likely because of lower gasoline prices this year compared with the same time last year.
The AAA’s current national average for regular gasoline is $3.666/gal, down from the same time period one year prior, which was at $3.814/gal.
The 2012 Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, 24 May to Monday, 28 May.
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