By Jeffrey Bair | Bloomberg
The number of Americans taking road trips this Christmas is poised for a slump of as much as 25%, with most staying home amid soaring coronavirus cases, according to GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan.
The estimate, on the heels of a GasBuddy survey showing that roughly two in three Americans plan to stay put for the holiday, provides more evidence of gasoline demand declining sharply during the latest wave of the pandemic. Consumption that’s near the lowest level since June will likely reach a new trough around New Year’s Day, DeHaan, the fuel market research firm’s head of petroleum analysis, said Tuesday.
Stricter measures to contain the pandemic in several parts of the country are a reminder that a return to normalcy will still take months, even as inoculations against the virus have started this week.
Of those getting out of the house during the holiday, about 27% plan to drive for less than an hour, and 32% will be in the car for one to three hours, DeHaan said. Only 39% of those driving plan to cross state lines, he said. GasBuddy didn’t have any estimate on miles traveled.
The silver lining for those who do hit the road is that they’ll pay an average $2.19 per gallon on December 25, according to the GasBuddy report released Tuesday. That would mark the second-lowest national average price since 2010, bested only by a low of $2 a gallon during the 2015 oil slump.Related Articles
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