Automobile group forecasts spike in holiday travelers

Thanks to lower gas prices and an improving job market, AAA expects more than 37 million Americans to travel for Memorial Day, the most since 2005.

AAA said Friday that the number of Americans taking a trip of 50 miles or more will rise 4.7 percent to 37.2 million over the period May 21 to May 25. Nearly nine of 10 travelers, or 33 million, will drive to their destination, making for crowded highways.

Gasoline should be around $1 cheaper this Memorial Day. The average price for a gallon of gas Friday was $2.66. Last year on the holiday it was $3.66.

Report: Wholesale stockpiles rose slightly in March

U.S. wholesalers expanded stockpiles modestly in March even though their sales fell for an eighth straight month.

Wholesale stockpiles edged up 0.1 percent following a 0.2 percent rise in February, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Sales at the wholesale level fell 0.2 percent after an even bigger 0.6 percent drop in February. Sales have fallen every month since August.

Economists expect sales to rebound in the coming months. The pickup should fuel consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

– From news service reports