Low Gas Prices Grace Fourth Of July Travelers
USATODAY.COM - Call it an Independence Day discount.
Gasoline prices usually peak in the summer. This year, however, they peaked on May 5. The subsequent slide in pump prices has made gasoline an average 24 cents a gallon cheaper than what it was on Memorial Day.
The national average now stands at $3.55 per gallon. That's the cheapest gasoline has been since late March. It's still higher for this time of year than any other year except 2008 and about 80 cents higher than a year ago.
Prices have persistently declined since May, following a similar drop in oil prices.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate has given up more than 16% since the beginning of May. The contract for August delivery lost 25 cents to $95.17 per barrel Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil fell after China reported that its manufacturing industry cooled off in June, slipping to its slowest pace in 28 months. Activity slowed as credit tightened due to inflation-fighting measures and weaker oversea demand. The country is still expected to drive world oil demand for years to come, but slower manufacturing growth means demand for fuels may not grow as quickly.
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