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Best wishes on July Fourth

Facts and figures for July Fourth 2015

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How will Americans be spending the Fourth of July this year?

Spending and activities

More than 156 million consumers – nearly two thirds of those celebrating – are planning to take part in the patriotic holiday by attending a cookout, picnic, or barbecue, spending an average of $71.23 per household, up from $68.16 last year, according to a survey prepared for the American Retail Federation. Total spending on food items for the holiday is estimated to reach $6.6 million.

More than 48 million consumers, 22.8 percent, will shop for decorations, apparel, and more to celebrate the holiday.

The survey found 42.6 percent, or 103 million celebrants, will attend a fireworks display or community celebration, and 11.5 percent – 27 million of those celebrating – will watch a parade.

Travel

AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a .7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year.

“Americans are planning to travel in record numbers,” said Marshall Doney, AAA president. “Independence Day gas prices are expected to be the lowest in at least five years.”

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.78, 88 cents less than the average price on Independence Day last year.

Nearly 85 percent of travelers, 35.5 million, will drive to their holiday destinations, an increase of .7 percent. Holiday air travel is expected to increase 1.5 percent to 3.21 million travelers.

AAA recommends motorists inspect their vehicle and check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a holiday trip.

Travelers will encounter moderately higher lodging rates and airfares this Independence Day, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index. The average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is 6 percent higher this year at $145, while Three Diamond hotels will cost 9 percent more, averaging $195.

Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are 6 percent higher this Independence Day, climbing to $227.

Copyright 2015, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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