Gas prices up slightly for holiday weekend

    Gasoline prices have edged higher recently, but an industry analyst expects they’ll hold steady for a while.

    The average price for a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey is now $3.42. That’s three cents higher than a week ago but 16 cents lower than Memorial Day last year.

    In the Philadelphia area, gas is going for about $3.50, while motorists in the Dover, Delaware, area are paying an average of $3.52.

    Don’t expect much change over the next two months, advises Tom Kloza with the Oil Price Information Service in Wall Township.

    He says behavioral changes are reducing demand.

    “There is probably an underclass and a lot of sort of ‘zombie unemployed’ out there. There’s a lot more people I believe now than perhaps 10 years ago that live paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “There’s also changes from the millennials, the younger kids, they don’t travel as much or take longer trips.”

    Kloza also said more digital entertainment options are keeping retirees closer to home.

    He cautions that gas prices could start to rise in August depending on what happens with the hurricane season.

    “If you see a probability cone in the Gulf of Mexico, just figure the price of gasoline is going to go up.” he said. “If may depend on the category of hurricane, whether it hits Corpus Christi or Houston or somewhere that’s lightly populated, but there will be a lot of worries when August begins and real hurricane season comes our way.”

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