Gas prices continue to head south - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Gas prices continue to head south

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A sign for a gas station in Wheat Ridge, CO. At $3.72, the price is 10 cents cheaper than the national average. (Source: Paul Swansen/Flickr) A sign for a gas station in Wheat Ridge, CO. At $3.72, the price is 10 cents cheaper than the national average. (Source: Paul Swansen/Flickr)
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(RNN) - Gas prices are continuing their slow descent downward this week. Tuesday marked the eighth consecutive day that the national average price of gas was lower than it was a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The last time consumers saw that milestone was on Oct. 26, 2009.

"Since the start of the year, 2012 broke daily, weekly and monthly records for the highest price averages at the pump, but now the tables have turned and prices are below last year's level," Jessica Brady, a spokesperson for AAA said.

Before April 24, it had been more than 900 days since prices had been lower than the year before.

The week was also the fourth in a row to see a drop in prices. The price at the pump actually fell for 23 out of the 30 days in April, a notable reversal from February and March, when prices rose on all but four days.

The costs went from a national average of $3.46 on Feb. 1 to $3.93 on March 31.

According to AAA, lower fuel costs are most likely due to a lower demand for oil and the easing of tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

In the United States, more people appear to be opting to save money,according to the Commerce Department. The department's Bureau of Economic Analysis found that despite a .1 percent growth in personal income and a .2 percent rise in disposable income, spending only rose by .3 percent in March. In February, spending rose by .9 percent.

In addition, the recession in Spain has no doubt lowered the demand for crude oil in the country.

However, with the infamous summer driving months just around the corner, it's likely that drivers will see prices tick back up again. The official kick-off to the annual summer travel season, Memorial Day, is May 28.

"While there's always the possibility prices will climb back up, in the short term, gas prices are expected to decrease further as we enter May," Brady said. "If gas prices do continue to fall throughout the month of May, we could definitely see an increase in the number of Americans traveling for the Memorial Day holiday weekend."

Drivers aren't the only ones affected by staggering gas prices. On April 30, Delta Air Lines announced that it's buying a refinery in an effort to stymie its annual $300 million gas bill.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

States where gas prices were higher than last year (SIDEBAR)

Updated:

Some states don't get to celebrate Unfortunately, even though the national average price of gas is falling, that doesn't mean the prices have fallen everywhere. As of April 30, ten states had higher More>>

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