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Talk about something to celebrate.
Thanks to falling crude oil prices, the more than 37 million travelers expected on the road this holiday weekend will save money at the pump.
Gas prices, which fell again this week to a national average of $2.28 a gallon for regular grade (vs. $2.36 a month ago), are expected to go as low as an average of $2.20 by July 4, with about a quarter of the country averaging less than $2 a gallon.
“To have prices lower smack dab in the middle of peak driving season to levels lower than January has never happened before,’’ says Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service.
AAA predicts drivers will take full advantage of the drop, says spokesperson Jeanette Casselano, and they expect 37.5 million road-trippers, exceeding last year’s record July 4 number of 36.5 million.
“Based on what we’re seeing in the crude oil markets, we’re going to continue seeing gas prices come under pressure,’’ says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for the price tracking app gasbuddy.com. “The stars are aligning.”
What’s behind the slide? Weak consumer demand, a global oil glut and rising crude production among key suppliers, including the U.S., where production is at two-year highs.
Gas prices will go even lower after Labor Day, DeHann predicts, dipping to below $2 a gallon nationwide. And a 1-cent price drop, he says, saves American motorists $4 million a day.