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Just as the summer travel season winds down, gas prices have soared to a yearly high in a bulk of American markets. While the recent rise can be attributed to a number of factors, including the increasing price of oil and high temperatures near refineries, the late summer storms and hurricanes might keep gas prices high in the coming weeks.

CivicScience’s always-on tracking keeps tabs on American concern about gas and energy prices. According to the latest reading, U.S. adults reporting to be ‘very concerned’ about gas and energy prices have steadily increased throughout the summer. Since bottoming out at 41% in mid-June, those reporting the highest level of concern have increased by seven percentage points as the latest full weekly reading (reaching 48% for two consecutive weeks). This matches the previous 2023 high back in May.

This could have immediate impacts on American travelers. Adults most concerned about gas and energy prices of late are also the least likely to have travel of any kind planned for the next month (just over half will fly or drive next month). While it’s likely a proxy for income, over one-third of those ‘not at all concerned’ about gas prices are planning to fly in the next month – well outpacing all other levels of gas price concern.

Gas price concern could play a significant role in depressing Labor Day travel. According to the latest CivicScience data, intent to travel by car over Labor Day weekend is down nine percentage points from 2022 – corresponding with an overall decrease in travel for the holiday weekend. However, intent to fly over the holiday has risen slightly (from 5% in 2022 to 6% this year).

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