Gas prices expected to hold steady for busy weekend

Published 9:50 am Friday, May 23, 2014

Gas prices are expected to hold steady through the busy Memorial Day weekend, but travelers could be looking at lower driving costs heading into the summer.
Don Redman of AAA’s Metairie office said a slow but steady decline has been seen in gas prices recently. He said the cost of a gallon of gas has dropped about a nickel since the beginning of the month.
Thursday, the Louisiana average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.42. The average was $3.43 a week ago, $3.49 a month ago and $3.34 a year ago.
The Bogalusa-area average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.43 Thursday, compared to the $3.40 seen last week and the $3.50 seen last month. This time last year, the average was $3.36.
In the Franklinton area, the per-gallon average was $3.48. The average was $3.51 last week and last month, up from last year’s average price of $3.36.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Redman said, AAA Travel projects that the number of people driving 50 or more miles from their home will be 1.5 percent higher than last year. A total of 36.1 million travelers are expected nationwide, compared to the 35.5 million seen last year.
Redman said the roadways will be crowded, since 88 percent of those Memorial Day holiday travelers, or 31.8 million people, are forecast to travel by automobile.
He said he expects gas prices will remain steady through the holiday weekend, as service stations look to take advantage of the high volume of travelers. After that, a price break could be on the way.
Prices are expected to continue to drop, unless there are major disruptions to the distribution system or unless tensions continue to mount in regions such as Ukraine, Libya, North Africa, the Middle East, he said.
Barring any major disruptions that would prevent a price decrease, gas could possibly be at or around $3 a gallon in certain markets of the state by June, Redman said.
He said the move toward a increase in the cost of gasoline is typically seen around July, but that will depend on what hurricane season has in store.