Cheap Gas + Cheap Beef = A Memorial Day to Remember
Forget the summer solstice. This weekend marks the unofficial start of the season in the United States: Memorial Day. And all signs point to it being a good one.
Gasoline prices are at the lowest level for this time of year since 2005, spurring more travel and roadtrips over the three-day break. More than 38 million Americans will travel over the Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA, with about 90 percent of those travelers going by car.
If the open road isn't speaking to you this holiday weekend, don't worry: There are also cost savings to be had in your own backyard. Those of us firing up the grill will enjoy ground beef prices at their lowest level in two years. And lots of us will be reaping those rewards, since more than 60 percent of grill owners plan to use them this weekend, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association estimates.
Even the weather looks willing to play nice — at least in many parts of the continental U.S. According to Bloomberg meteorologist and power product specialist Shunondo Basu, temperatures will climb above average for almost the whole U.S. for the first time this season over Memorial Day. "A domineering area of high pressure will help to funnel warm air up the entire continent, lifting temperatures up to the 80s and bringing wall-to-wall sunshine for many states," he said.
Combined, these factors are setting the scene for a great holiday weekend for the U.S. consumer.
"It's perfect timing for a holiday," says Bloomberg Intelligence Economist Rich Yamarone. "Load the family in the car, drive to a park or a beach, and spark up the BBQ — gasoline and food prices are cheap, and Mother Nature looks to be cooperating for most of the nation."