TAMPA, Fla. – AAA forecasted that a record-breaking 36.3 million Americans would take an Independence Day road trip this weekend. Those who did, found the lowest gas prices on July 4th in 11 years.
"Despite the high demand, gas prices declined throughout the holiday weekend making travel even more affordable," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "This year’s summer driving season is likely to set new records for both gasoline demand and vehicle miles traveled. Gasoline demand is currently at an all-time high, which would normally put additional pressure on refineries. However, refineries are increasing output and gasoline supply has more than kept pace with growing demand, which has led to lower gas prices."
Gas Prices Declining
Gas prices been falling for nearly a month. The average price has declined for 27 consecutive days in Florida and Georgia, and 26 consecutive days in Tennessee. During that time, the average prices for regular unleaded declined 12 cents in Florida, 14 cents in Tennessee, and 15 cents in Georgia.
Have Gas Prices Peaked?
Although we won't know for sure until the end of the year, motorists have likely seen the highest prices of 2016. Average prices peaked on June 7 at $2.35 in Florida, $2.28 in Georgia, $2.20 in Tennessee. Nationwide, motorists are finding the lowest prices for this time of year since 2005. The average price for a gallon of gasoline is 50 cents less than this time last year and $1.39 less than two years ago. Motorists are saving an average of $20 for a full tank of gas compared to what they paid in July 2014.
Oil Prices Stabilize
The oil market recovered after dipping nearly $5 in response to the "Bexit" vote, but did not move high enough to impact gas prices. Oil prices are now relatively stable, which is good news for motorists, as the price of oil influences about two-thirds the price of gasoline. Crude oil averaged $48.28 a barrel last week - 74 cents less than the week before. The global oil market is responding to expectations of increased supply, thanks to the return of production from the Canadian Oil Sands and reports of strong output from OPEC member countries.