AP NEWS

Gas Prices Top $3 For Labor Day

August 31, 2018

Those hitting the road for Labor Day weekend will pay the highest gas prices for the holiday since 2014.

The average price of gas in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area is $3.03 a gallon, up from $2.83 during the Labor Day holiday weekend in 2017; $2.36 in 2016 and $2.42 in 2015.

Local drivers have not seen much change in the last month with gas prices moving less than 10 cents in either direction.

Nationally, the average price of gas per gallon is $2.84. AAA Mid-Atlantic officials forecast that price will drop to $2.70 this fall and say it has the potential to drop even more.

“Cheaper-to-produce gasoline and relatively stable crude oil prices in August, combined with an anticipated drop in consumer gasoline demand post-Labor Day, means consumers will see savings when they fill up at the pump this fall,” said Jana Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Several outliers can reverse this forecast, including crude oil prices, geopolitical tensions and the threat of a hurricane.”

Part of an anticipated drop in fall pump prices is due to the switch over to winter-blend gasoline in mid-Setember, she said.

Additionally, she said the arrival of fall historically means a drop in consumer gasoline demand as summer road trips and vacations subside.

Labor Day is typically the least traveled of the summer holidays, Tidwell said.

“Though it is always a three-day weekend, most would-be travelers do not have the same flexibility the July 4th holiday affords,” she said. “College students have already returned to school and more and more school districts are returning to the classrooms before Labor Day.”

There still will be holiday travelers, however, Tidwell said. Most will go by car because of convenience and affordability, she said.

“We will likely see the highest traffic volume on Thursday and Friday evenings, as travelers take to the road for their end-of-summer escape,” she said. “And, of course, Sunday afternoon and evening will see the return volume.”

AAA officials advise those who plan to travel do so during off-peak times to avoid peak congestion on the roads.

Contact the writer:

dallabaugh@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2115; @CVAllabaugh

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