Vacations will be a bit cheaper this year, with gasoline prices the lowest since 2009. And for the year, lower pump prices are expected to save Americans $700 a household.
U.S. consumers will pay $1.14 a gallon less this summer than in 2014 and use 1.6 percent more fuel, according to a government report released Tuesday.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook says surging U.S. oil production has reduced costs and provided refineries ample supplies of crude to turn into fuel, keeping gasoline prices in check.
“The glut in global petroleum supplies has come at the perfect time as people hit the road,” said Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA, the nation’s largest motoring group. “Even if demand rises, there’s more than enough petroleum to supply motorists this summer.”
Regular-grade gasoline will average $2.45 a gallon from April through September, compared with $3.59 a year ago, according to the energy agency.
Midwest prices typically are less than the U.S. average. Right now, for example, the national average is $2.39, and Kansas City on the Missouri side is $2.09. Kansas side prices usually are a few cents more because of higher state fuel taxes.
The energy agency said Brent crude, the global benchmark, is expected to average $59 a barrel this year, down from $99 in 2014. And West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. standard, is usually lower than Brent crude.
Prices crashed as booming production in the U.S. helped global supply outpace demand by 800,000 barrels a day last year, according to the International Energy Agency.
The U.S. economy added 591,000 jobs in the first three months of this year after adding 3.1 million in 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.
That will provide a double-barreled boost to driving this summer as more people drive to work and more households can afford to drive their families to the beach, Green said.