As Americans pile into SUVs, sedans, and minivans and hit the road to make it home in time for Thanksgiving during the busiest driving season of the year, they’ll benefit from prices at the pump that are lower than a year ago.
The average price of a gallon of gas rose slightly this week to hit $3.29, according to data released on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.
Despite the increase, however, the current national average is 14 cents below what it was one year ago and gas prices haven’t been this low ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday since 2010.
Some experts, including Tom Kloza, the chief oil analyst at the Oil Information Service, believe prices could continue to drop through the end of the year, with Kloza estimating that the average could fall to $3.05 in December.
The largest piece of the puzzle contributing to low prices at the pump is the lowered cost of crude oil, which has declined in recent weeks due to decreased demand.
But don’t expect things to say this way. The EIA predicts that gas prices will increase to an average of $3.33 per gallon in the first quarter of next year and estimates that the annual average for 2014 will come in at around $3.39 overall.
To the extent that prices continue to drop, however, retailers may see an uptick in sales during the holiday shopping period.
“[Consumers] become less surgical in their shopping behavior,” Bill Martin, executive vice president of retail analyst ShopperTrak, told the Associated Press. “That opens the door to more impulse buying.”
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."