June 30th, 2015 by AAA
(WASHINGTON, June 30, 2015)
Americans Have Saved $65 Billion on Gas During First Six Months of the Year
- Lower prices have helped Americans save about $65 billion on gas so far this year, compared to the first six months of 2014, which is more than $530 for every U.S. household on average. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.77 per gallon, which is the lowest average for this date since 2010 and about 91 cents per gallon less than a year ago.
- “It is much easier for a driver to take a summer road trip knowing that they have saved hundreds of dollars on gas so far this year,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “The gas savings should continue for the rest of the summer, which could help motivate millions of Americans to travel.”
- AAA expects 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for Independence Day, which is the highest total since 2007. About 35.5 million people will travel by car for the holiday. Most drivers should pay the lowest gas prices for Independence Day in at least five years.
- S. gas prices have averaged $2.45 per gallon this year, which is the cheapest average for the first six months since 2009. During the first six months of 2014, gas prices averaged $3.52 per gallon.
- Americans are driving more this year due to lower gas prices and a stronger economy. Gasoline demand for the first six months of the year is up about three percent compared to the same period in 2014, according to initial estimates by the Energy Information Administration. Summertime demand is even higher with the current four-week average about 4.5 percent higher than a year ago.
- Gas prices averaged $2.78 per gallon in June, which was the lowest average for the month since 2010. By comparison, the average price of gas in June 2014 was $3.67 per gallon.
- Gas prices remained relatively steady in June with the national average finishing the month only about three cents per gallon higher than at the beginning of the month. U.S. average gas prices are about 74 cents per gallon higher than the lows in late January.
- Average U.S. prices reached a 2015 high of $2.80 per gallon on June 15. If this remains the highest average of the year, it would be the cheapest peak price since 2009.
- The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil remained stable in June with the price settling within a relatively narrow range of $58.00-$61.26 per barrel, which has helped to prevent significant changes in the national average price of gasoline.
- The average price of diesel is only eight cents per gallon more than gasoline today. The difference between gasoline and diesel reached its most narrow point since 2009 in June, due in part to a late peak in gas prices and seasonal factors that help reduce the cost of diesel in the summer. In January, the average price of diesel was 90 cents more expensive per gallon than gasoline.
- Gasoline costs less than in recent years because of significantly lower crude oil costs. Crude oil remains about $50 per barrel cheaper than the highs reached in summer 2014.
Gas Prices May Drop this Month Due to Rising Production
- The national average price of gas is likely to remain less than $3 per gallon this year, but there is considerable uncertainty regarding the future direction of prices. It is possible that gas prices this month will drop or at least remain relatively flat in the near term as gasoline production increases to take advantage of high profit margins. Oil prices similarly should remain near current levels given that domestic, commercial supplies are about 19 percent higher than a year ago. Nevertheless, factors such as strong summertime demand or other unexpected events could send gas prices higher.
- “Drivers are hoping that history repeats last year’s dramatic selloff in gas prices during the second half of the summer,” continued Ash. “There is real possibility that gas prices will drop this month as millions of Americans hit the roads for their summer vacation.”
- Fuel demand is likely to be a key factor in whether gas prices drop or increase this summer. July and August are generally the two months with the highest level of U.S. driving, which could affect supplies and prices. If gasoline stocks decline due to strong demand, it is likely that gas prices will rise. Demand generally drops significantly after Labor Day, which leads to lower gas prices in the fall.
- There are a number of unexpected factors that could send summertime gas prices even higher than today, such as increased fighting in the Middle East, unexpected problems at major refineries or strong Atlantic hurricanes that disrupt refinery production.
- Two international events taking place this week could help lower petroleum prices this year. First, negotiators are working on an Iranian nuclear deal, which could lead to abundant supplies of Iranian crude oil entering the markets later this autumn. Second, the effects of Greece defaulting on its debts could weaken the global economy and reduce fuel demand. Similarly, problems in Europe could lead to a stronger dollar, which generally results in lower oil prices.
- It can be relatively common for gas prices to increase in July as more Americans take long, summer road trips. For example, gas prices increased by an average of 16 cents per gallon during the month from 2011-2013.
- Average U.S. gas prices in July 2014 dropped for 30 out of 31 days for a total of 16 cents per gallon, due to abundant petroleum supplies worldwide. This decline was the start of an eventual $1.65 per gallon drop through January.
Alaska Tops Most Expensive States for Gas for the First Time Since 2011
- Alaska because the most expensive state for gas in the country on June 27 for the first time since 2011. The five most expensive state averages include: Alaska ($3.48), California ($3.44), Hawaii ($3.38), Washington ($3.20) and Nevada ($3.19).
- The states with the lowest average gas prices include South Carolina ($2.44), Mississippi ($2.48), Alabama ($2.50), Arkansas ($2.50) and Tennessee ($2.54).
- About 13 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for more than $3 per gallon. A year ago, 99.99 percent of stations were selling gas above that price. About 15 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for less than $2.50 per gallon, which is about half as many as a month ago.
- The most common price in the country today is $2.599 per gallon, which compares to $3.599 per gallon a year ago.
One-in-Three Americans Doubt Accuracy of Fuel Economy Ratings
- A recent AAA survey found that 1-in-3 Americans do not believe the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new-vehicle window stickers accurately reflect real-world fuel economy.
- AAA’s comprehensive analysis of fuel economy data submitted to the EPA’s website revealed that more than 80 percent of drivers reported fuel economy higher than the combined city and highway EPA mileage rating for their vehicle.
- AAA independently tested three vehicles that were frequently reported as failing to achieve the EPA fuel economy and determined the EPA mileage ratings were accurate.
- AAA concludes that driving behaviors, vehicle condition, driving environment and terrain are likely responsible for most deviations from EPA ratings that consumers experience.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.
For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 19th, 2012 by AAA
Overall travel up 4.9 percent from Independence Day holiday period last year, mid-week holiday contributes to volume increase and affords travelers more departure day options
ORLANDO, Fla., (June 19, 2012) – AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 4.9 percent increase over the 40.3 million people who traveled last year. The expected 2012 Independence Day holiday travel volume will tie the past decade’s previous high mark set in 2007 and represents a near 42 percent increase from 2009. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.
Since July 4 falls on a Wednesday, the calendar will play a role in driving holiday travel volume as the mid-week holiday expands the traditional five-day travel period to six days and provides the option of including a weekend and two week days on either side of the actual holiday. When asked about day of departure, fifty-four percent of people intending to travel this holiday plan to begin their trip prior to the start of the work-week that includes July 4. Response percentages by trip departure day are:
“AAA’s projection for a decade high number of Independence Day travelers is being fed by Americans’ appetite for travel, a mid-week holiday and lower gas prices,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services. “This is the second holiday this year where travelers indicated a determination to travel while economizing by actively seeking value-added travel options and activities.”
“A healthy travel industry is critical to the overall well-being of our economy and consistent increases in travel are encouraging,” added Sutherland.
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Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans
The price of gasoline is another factor expected to play a role in spurring intentions to travel this Independence Day holiday period. On April 6, motorists experienced a year-to-date peak average price of $3.94 per gallon for regular gasoline. The current national average price of regular gasoline is $3.50 per gallon, 44 cents lower than the April peak and 16 cents less than this time last year.
Automobile travel up four percent, highest auto travel volume in past decade
Approximately 35.5 million people plan to travel by automobile setting the high-water mark for the decade, as 84 percent of all Independence Day holiday travelers choose this traditionally dominant mode of transportation. This is a four percent increase over the 34.1 million people who traveled by auto last year.
Number of air travelers expected to increase by over nine percent, airfares unchanged
Slightly more than 3.2 million leisure travelers (eight percent of holiday travelers) will fly during the Independence Day holiday period, a more than nine percent increase over the 2.9 million air travelers in 2011. This year’s increase is the third consecutive year of rising Independence Day holiday air travel volume, following the decade low 1.4 million air travelers in 2009.
Airfares are flat year over year with an average lowest round-trip rate of $200 for the top 40 U.S. air routes in both 2011 and 2012, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index. A longer holiday period and stable airfares are spurring this increase.
The remaining eight percent of holiday travelers are expected to use other modes of transportation, including rail, bus and cruise ship, accounting for 3.6 million travelers – a 10 percent increase over last year and the second highest volume in the past ten years.
Travelers to experience increases in hotel rates, decreases in car rental rates
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, Independence Day holiday hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase four percent from a year ago with travelers spending an average of $164 per night compared to $157 last year. Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay nine percent more at an average cost of $120 per night. Weekend daily car rental rates will average $40, a nine percent decrease from one year ago.
Average travel distance increases
According to a survey of intended travelers, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Independence Day holiday weekend is expected to be 723 miles, up 150 miles from last year’s average 573 miles. The increase in expected air travel is a factor in lifting the average travel distance as air trips typically span a longer distance than automobile trips. The survey found that the share of holiday trips in excess of 1,500 miles increased to 18 percent from last year’s 10 percent share, while the share of trips shorter than 250 miles decreased to 28 percent from 35 percent a year ago.
Median spending down seven percent, travelers continue to economize
Median spending is expected to be $749, a seven percent decrease compared to the expected median spending of intended holiday travelers ($807) in 2011.
The Independence Day holiday traditionally involves spending time with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors and participating in celebrations highlighted by fireworks. This year’s survey of intended travelers found that the economizing travel consumer behavior reported in AAA’s Memorial Day travel forecast will continue over the Independence Day holiday period. Lower spend activities like visiting family and friends and sightseeing are expected to increase up to four percent, while shopping and entertainment will decrease by as much as nine percent.
AAA offers mobile travel planning resources
AAA’s digital tools for travel planning ‘on the go’ include eTourBook guides for 101 top North American destinations, free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from city titles, like Orlando, New York and the award-winning Las Vegas, as well as National Parks.
Free AAA apps for iPhone and Android devices use GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby member discounts and find current gas prices. Travelers can learn about AAA apps and AAA Mobile Web at AAA.com/mobile.
Travelers can find thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using AAA’s digital travel planning tools or online at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA / IHS Global Insight 2012 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.