US Thanksgiving travel to rise as economy mends, gasoline drops

16 November 2012 19:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--More Americans will travel for this year’s US Thanksgiving holiday on 22 November as retail gasoline prices decline and the economy shows signs of improvement, an analyst said on Friday.

US automobile organisation AAA projects that 43.6m Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an increase over the average of 43.3m in 2011.

The increase marks the fourth consecutive year of holiday travel growth, the AAA said.

“I would expect that more Americans will hit the roads this year as the economy has continued to mend and Americans feel that gasoline prices have dropped significantly in the last month,” said analyst Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.com.  

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline at the pump is at $3.430/gal, 32.6 cents/gal lower than one month prior, which was at $3.756/gal, according to the AAA.

AAA estimates the national average price of gasoline will drop to between $3.25-3.40/gal by the holiday, similar to 2011’s average of $3.32/gal, which was the most expensive average ever on Thanksgiving.

“I believe prices may continue to drop ahead of Thanksgiving, but they may not quite make it to a national average of $3.35/gal. I don’t expect any spikes in prices for Thanksgiving weekend or the holiday itself,” said DeHaan.

The 2012 Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined by AAA as Wednesday 21 November to Sunday 25 November.

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By: Anna Matherne
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