Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gas prices rise, July 4 travel down

Retail gas and diesel prices pushed higher overnight, a daily survey by motorist group AAA showed Sunday. Continued near-record prices are expected to curtail Americans' travel plans during the July 4 holiday weekend.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gas increased seven-tenths of a cent to $4.079 from $4.072 the day before.

According to AAA, 31 states and the District of Columbia are now paying over $4.00 a gallon on average.

Alaska edged out California for the title of highest gas prices in the nation. Drivers there pay $4.611 a gallon on average, while in the golden state, a gallon of regular gasoline averages $4.584.

The third highest gas prices are in Hawaii, where a gallon of gas costs $4.436.

Missouri has the lowest gas prices. Drivers in that state pay $3.850 a gallon on average.

The survey also showed that the national average price for a gallon of diesel fuel rose two-tenths of a cent to $4.764 from $4.762 the previous day.
Cutting back on travel

AAA said it expects a decline in the number of Americans traveling during the Fourth of July holiday travel period.

The motorist group projects that 40.45 million drivers will travel during the holiday weekend. That's down 1.3% from the 41 million who traveled last year.

"Clearly gas prices are continuing to take a toll on the traveler's budget," said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet in a statement.

Still, more than 13% of the U.S. population will be on the road this holiday weekend, according to AAA. And more than 34.2 million Americans, nearly 85% of all holiday travelers, intend to travel by automobile, a 1.2% decrease from 34.6 million people last year.

Approximately 4.54 million Americans expect to travel by airplane, down 2.3% from the 4.64 million last year. Nearly 1.7 million plan to travel by train, bus or other mode of transportation, AAA reported.

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