Lower Holiday Gas Prices Surprised Experts

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

Even over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, when drivers come to expect higher gas prices, prices went in the opposite direction.

The average retail price in Omaha fell 4.8 cents this past week, averaging $3.43 a gallon on Monday. That compares with a national average of $3.65 a gallon, which also represents a decline, though smaller at 3.6 cents in the past week. The figures come from gasoline price website OmahaGasPrices.com.

Prices as of Memorial Day were 30 cents per gallon lower than the same day a year ago and nearly 16 cents per gallon lower than one month ago. The national average has decreased 15.7 cents per gallon during the last month and came in at 13.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day a year ago.

"Summer driving season has officially begun with the national average falling far lower than we expected it earlier this year," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

"Had you asked me back in January if the national average would have been that low on Memorial Day, I would likely have chuckled," DeHaan said, "but it goes to show anything is possible."

GasBuddy forecast back in January that the national average would peak between $3.75 and $4.15 a gallon. The national average peaked at $3.92 a gallon April 5, far sooner than many analysts, including DeHaan, expected it to occur.

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