Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Why Gas Prices Are 31 Percent Higher Than Last Memorial Day

Why Gas Prices Are 31 Percent Higher Than Last Memorial Day

But one other expert wants to wait and see what the results are of Memorial Day travel before he has concern.

With rainy weather in the forecast, roadways will be wet. Showers also are likely Sunday night with a 60 percent chance and a low around 64 degrees.

MassDOT has stopped construction for the holiday weekend to ease some of the traffic. So many, in fact, they were let in three hours before the official 12 p.m. opening. The second-busiest conditions are expected during the same period Thursday.

Last year, gas prices per gallon were $.63 cheaper than now heading into the travel weekend.

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In California, a gallon of regular gas costs an average $3.73 a gallon today, compared to $3.10 a year ago, an increase of 20%.

The second reason is crude oil prices, which hit $80 per barrel for the USA recently, a 50 percent increase compared to 2017.

"Higher gas prices will not be enough to keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend", said Vicky Evans, assistant vice president, Travel Sales Development, AAA The Auto Club Group in a written statement. "The Saudis are quite enjoying $80 prices", said Michael Tran, global energy strategist at RBC Capital Markets, to CNN.

On Friday, the price of crude oil fell more than 4% to drop below $68 a barrel for the first time in almost a month.

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"We did a summer survey and 24 percent of those surveyed said they would do a staycation versus a vacation", said Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy.

According to the holy grail of gasoline indexes, the American Automobile Association (AAA), gas prices are up to an average of $2.97 per gallon. The average in the commonwealth was about $2.76.

Be forewarned though - Alabama's prices are usually cheaper than surrounding states.

Mostly this is because travelers book well in advance and often don't cancel due to fuel prices, but they will adjust their spending, Dodds said. And Wisconsin's gas hit $2.94 per gallon, a 28 cent increase.

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The West Coast typically has the most expensive gas.

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