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PA Gas Prices Drop Below $3.50

The slow economy is cited as one of the factors for the lower pump prices.

Gas prices across the country and in Warminster continue to fall, an upside of recent domestic and international economic worries.

Pump prices in the Philadelphia 5-county area have dropped below the $3.50 per gallon mark for the first time in seven months.  Today the average price for regular grade, self-service gasoline in the Philadelphia area is $3.49 per gallon, down 6 cents in the last week and down 20 cents from a month ago, yet prices remain 74 cents above prices this time last year.

The last time gas prices in the Philadelphia 5-county area were below $3.50 per gallon was on March 5 ($3.49), according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

“Not since March of this year have we seen gas prices in the Philadelphia area below $3.50 per gallon,” said Jenny M. Robinson, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Now that crude oil has settled in the $80 range, down from a three-year high this spring ($113.93 on April 29), gas prices are shifting downward as well. "

Robinson says that analysts believe the recent drop in prices will likely last through the fall, but what we see now won’t be the ‘new normal,’ but rather a starting point for winter and spring prices.

According to AAA, the national average price for regular grade, self-service gasoline is $3.39 per gallon, down 7 cents in the past week and down 27 cents from a month ago. Nationally prices remain 62 cents above last year.

In Warminster, the cheapest regular grade gasoline can be found for $3.33 at the new Giant fueling station at Center Point Place, according to phillygasprices.com. Next is $3.34 at and at York and Street roads. The highest regular grade gas runs for $3.70 at the Gulf at Bristol and Old York roads.

Despite recent relief at the pump, gas prices remain historically high, according to the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).  Gasoline has averaged $3.56 per gallon so far this year, the highest yearly average ever.  And although Americans have cut back driving due to high prices, they are not likely to save money, but rather spend more on gasoline in 2011 than ever before – close to $490 billion.

“Motorists have undoubtedly felt the pain at the pump this year,” Robinson noted. “So downward movement in gas prices, albeit slight, definitely makes a difference for most people.”

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