Will Lower Summer Gas Prices Boost Car Travel For Vacations?

June 22, 2012 12:00 AM

Will Lower Summer Gas Prices Boost Car Travel For Vacations?

" The numbers came in this morning, and gas prices took a sharp drop, with the national average now at just $3.50 per gallon. And they’re expected to stay relatively flat through the summer, barring any surprises and geopolitical actions. That $3.50 average is s a drop of seven cents in the last week alone, and sharply lower than in 2008, when the average soared above $4 a gallon.

Prices fell 13 to 18 cents a gallon in West Coast states–California, Oregon, and Washington–with some of the priciest gasoline in the country. Those states are likely to see even lower prices in the weeks ahead. The $3.50 average, in fact, is little changed from prices last fall, despite the anticipated onset of summer vacation driving.

Gas prices have been falling since early spring, contrary to the more usual pattern in which they rise until about the July 4th weekend in anticipation of higher summer travel. The national average in February was $3.60, and prices were expected to rise above $4 per gallon from then through next month. Prices hit that level in a few states with historically pricey gasoline, but the national average never got that high "

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