Gasoline Prices Declining Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

New York, NY, May 23, 2024-"Prices at the pump are ticking lower again,” reports the Wall Street Journal. 

“A slow-but-steady decline pushed the average U.S. cost of regular gasoline to $3.58 a gallon last week, according to federal data, down from $3.67 about a month earlier. The recent figure is roughly in line with prices a year ago and about 5% below the typical pre-Memorial Day cost since 2000, when adjusting for inflation. 

“Regional fuel prices often move independently based on factors such as storms, taxes and refinery maintenance. Over the past month, however, gas stations monitored by AAA have lowered prices or held them steady in all but six U.S. states. Motorists in Las Vegas, the Phoenix area and Sacramento, Calif., are seeing some of the steepest cuts.

“The declines come at an opportune moment. Memorial Day marks the unofficial kickoff of the summer road-trip season. AAA expects a record 38.4 million people to travel 50 miles or more by car this weekend.

“Lower fuel costs are aiding the Federal Reserve’s inflation fight while the central bank mulls if and when to lower interest rates from two-decade highs. As President Biden kicks his re-election campaign into high gear, moderate price declines on highway billboards and gas-station displays could also buoy Americans’ outlook on the economy. Gasoline futures maintained declines this week after the administration said it would tap Northeast fuel reserves to release 1 million barrels of gasoline-a small fraction of one day’s worth of U.S. consumption-to help cap prices. 

“The downshift marks a reversal from earlier this year, when gasoline prices surged faster than their usual annual run-up and propped up inflation.”