Memorial Day Reflections on Gas Prices

Comment on the May 19th prediction: Absolutely CORRECT, as prices rose to $3.79 the following Tuesday.

Monday, May 27, 2024, 5 PM: On Thursday, with the Memorial Day holiday coming up, I was holding my breath about gas prices, because there was a strange spike in wholesale prices earlier in the week. The spike was due to problems at the refinery in Joliet, Illinois. By Thursday, though, the spike was dissipating, and maybe the pricing masterminds at the retailers started the weekend early.

Our Gas Buddy took a look at average retail prices on Memorial Day the past decade, and curiously, the list doesn’t tell a story of relentlessly rising prices. Instead, we see a wide range, starting with a spiky $4.82 in 2014 (which was the top price for that year), and going as low as $2.31 in 2020 (when the beginning of COVID led to deflation). The 2021-2022 inflation spike is obvious as prices hit $4.93 in 2022 (fueled by the early months of the war in Ukraine), but this year, we’re at $3.55 nationally, which is close to where we are currently in Michigan.

What’s the plan for this week? Oil prices are actually at their lowest since February right now, but that isn’t saying much, because they have been trading in a narrow range. Most likely prices will just drift lower through next weekend. Nevertheless, I had hoped to fill up at Costco this morning, at $3.18 or so. But they are closed for Memorial Day. Good for them. -EA

Updated: May 27, 2024 — 4:25 pm

1 Comment

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  1. Wild slide back under 3 bucks at several Indiana locations. Close to a dollar drop from $3.79. $2.86 in Terra Haute.

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