Energy Dept: Gas Prices Lower

The Energy Department reports that the retail price of gasoline fell $0.12 last week, making the average gallon of regular unleaded just $2.50 a gallon.

This is the lowest price since early March and marks the sixth week of declining retail prices.

Americans are now paying 10 percent less for gasoline than they were a year ago, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita had knocked more than a third of the nation's refining capacity offline.

The report shows that prices declined across the country. Midwesterners are enjoying the lowest average price at just $2.32; folks on the West Coast paying the highest average price of $2.81.

Analysts say the recent run of price drops is the result of several factors. The summer driving season -- during which demand for gasoline is at its highest -- has come to an end. Crude oil prices have taken a tumble, thanks to a tepid hurricane season and cooling geo-political risks in some of the important oil-producing regions of the globe.

Add to that a slowing U.S. economy, and nearly every market force is pushing prices down.

Recent analyst reports suggest that consumer could be paying closer to $2 per gallon by November. This summer's high price of $3.04 was set during the week of August 7.

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