Lowest Memorial Day gas prices in 13 years

Posted at 2:36 PM, May 20, 2016

The country is expected to break travel records this summer, starting with strong numbers on Memorial Day.

The unofficial start of the summer travel season is expected to have the lowest gas prices in more than a decade.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts the nationwide average will drop to $2.24 by July, and to an even lower $2.20 by August, the lowest average prices since 2003.

AAA says 89 percent of travelers will use vehicles to get to their destination this Memorial Day, the highest percentage since AAA started keeping track in 2000.

“Otherwise, I don’t want to go because the gas prices are too high,” said Geraldine O’Hayre, while she was filling up her tank. "I have a full awareness of that now, more than I ever have, because of the situation that our economy is in."

Enterprise Rent-A-Car reports reservations are up 44 percent compared to last summer.

Airlines are seeing a similar trend, with a 3.8 percent increase over last summer’s record number of travelers. Nineteen of the 25 busiest TSA screening days are in the summer, and the Friday before Memorial Day is one of them.

"It’s good news, bad news,” said Stan Dempsey, President of the Colorado Petroleum Association.

While low prices are good for consumers’ wallets, the oil industry is concerned crude oil prices could hurt the national economy, overall.

"Within the industry, there has been a number of people who’ve been laid off,” said Dempsey.

Analysts say Americans also have more spending money because of the job market. The economy created 2.4 million jobs from last Memorial Day to April of this year.