Don’t be surprised if the local market marks up prices on hot dogs, ground beef and barbecue supplies in the coming days as they take advantage of the Independence Day holiday – but getting to the store might prove cheaper than anticipated.
Despite recent forecasts that gasoline prices might skyrocket to $5 a gallon by the Fourth of July, those predictions have proved to be duds. A variety of factors – including the White House decision to tap the national strategic oil reserves – are getting credit for the unexpected plunge in prices, which peaked at around $4 a gallon in late spring.
Many service stations owners are still expected to nudge their numbers up, however, taking advantage of travelers who might be less likely than normal to look for the best bargains. On the other hand, retail giant Wal-Mart announced that it will cut the price of fuel sold at many of its stores across the country by a dime, a discount it says it will maintain for the next 90 days.