U.S. Gas Prices Dip After Long Holiday
WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) — The average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline dropped off slightly Tuesday as U.S. travelers returned home after the busy holiday weekend.
Motor club AAA reports a national average price for a gallon of gasoline at just under $2.74, representing a decline of about one third of one percent from Memorial Day. In the run up to the long holiday weekend, AAA reported a gas price increase of around 2 percent.
The national average price one month ago was about $2.53 per gallon. Prices increased 3 percent from May 4 to May 18, about six tenths of a percent less than during the same period last year when gasoline prices ended the second week of May at $3.67 per gallon.
U.S. travelers paid an average $3.55 per gallon ahead of the holiday weekend last year. Prices increased another eight tenths of a percent, or 2 cents, by the end of May 2014.
More than half of all U.S. states reported an average price below the $2 per gallon mark in late 2014. AAA attributed the general increase in prices to a recovery in the crude oil market, refinery issues and the switch to a summer blend of gasoline, which is more expensive to produce because of additional environmental safeguards.
In a short-term market report for May, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said it expected the national average price for full-year 2015 to level out at around $2.43 per gallon. The full-year 2014 average was $3.36 per gallon.
AAA said it expected Memorial Day road traffic would be the highest in 10 years and up 5.3 percent from last year.