Gas prices hold steady prior to Memorial Day weekend: AAA

More Americans are expected to travel for Memorial Day weekend this year

The price of gas was unmoved from last week, AAA reported. 

As millions of Americans plan to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, prices at the pump remain low, according to AAA.

The national average cost for a gallon of gas was $3.53 for the week ending May 18, 2023, unmoved from a week prior, according to the latest data by AAA.

A continued drop in demand for gas and low oil prices could mean Americans get some more relief at the pump, AAA reported.

Gas demand fell to 8.91 million barrels a day last week from 9.3 million, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). At the same time, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.4 million barrels of crude oil to 218.3 million barrels.

"Despite mild weather and a less volatile economic forecast, drivers are not hitting the road and raising gasoline demand to traditional seasonal levels," AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said. "It’s possible this is merely the lull before Memorial Day, but it could be a trend that lingers into summer."

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Gas prices across the country 

While the average price for a gallon of gas remained unchanged from the previous week, some states saw significant drops. Here are the 10 states that experienced the sharpest changes in average gas prices this week, based on AAA data.

  • Utah (+20 cents)
  • Michigan (+20 cents)
  • Florida (−7 cents)
  • Wisconsin (+5 cents)
  • Kentucky (+5 cents)
  • Iowa (+5 cents)
  • Delaware (+4 cents)
  • Arizona (−4 cents)
  • Colorado (−4 cents)
  • Indiana (−3 cents)

Moreover, some places saw below-average gas prices. Here are the top 10 least expensive gas markets for this week, according to AAA.

  • Mississippi ($2.97)
  • Texas ($3.08)
  • Louisiana ($3.08)
  • Alabama ($3.09)
  • Arkansas ($3.10)
  • Tennessee ($3.13)
  • South Carolina ($3.14)
  • Oklahoma ($3.17)
  • Missouri ($3.18)
  • Kansas ($3.23)

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More Americans planning to travel this Memorial Day weekend

Amid low gas prices, 42.3 million Americans are projected to travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, according to an analysis by AAA. That would mark a 7% increase from last year. Most (87.6%) are expected to travel by automobile, AAA said.

"This is expected to be the third busiest Memorial Day weekend since 2000, when AAA started tracking holiday travel," Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement. "More Americans are planning trips and booking them earlier, despite inflation."  

The uptick in Memorial Day travel could mean congested roads for many motorists, AAA reported. 

"With lower fuel prices and more travelers on the road compared to last year, drivers should expect long delays this holiday weekend, especially in and around major metros as commuters mix with Memorial Day travelers," Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, said in a statement. "Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice is to avoid driving during peak hours or use alternative routes." 

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