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Cheaper Gas Not Enough to Boost Summer Driving

Cheaper gas won’t be enough to get many more Americans on the road this summer. They’re still too worried about their jobs and the economy.

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Economists and tourism experts are expecting only a small uptick in summer travelers. Gas prices are still high enough to keep some lower-income Americans at home. The job market is improving, but still shaky. And household debt remains high.

A number of travelers will drive because they can’t afford to fly. The bulk of road trippers, experts say, will choose shorter trips, reduce food and entertainment expenses or stay closer to home to conserve cash.

For Memorial Day weekend, auto club AAA predicts that 34.8 million Americans will take trips of at least 50 miles. That’s up 1.2 percent from summer’s opening weekend in 2011.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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