Gas Prices To Fall 20 Cents Per Gallon

Gas prices are set to fall another 20 cents per gallon by Memorial Day weekend. The cost at the pump has been rising this year to almost $4 per gallon, but not this time, according to financial experts.

Nationally, a gallon of gas now averages $3.51, down 18 cents over the past four weeks and 37 cents lower than year-ago prices.

With crude oil prices slumping, prices are expected to fall another 20 cents a gallon by Memorial Day. Meanwhile, April consumption is the lowest since 1997.

“To see this much weakness in demand for this time of the year is pretty eye-opening,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior energy analyst at price-tracker “You can attribute some of the decline to more fuel-efficient vehicles, changes in lifestyle, high (crude oil) inventories or an economic slowdown.”

Last week, the government reported oil inventories at about 388 million barrels, about 4% higher than year-ago levels. Benchmark West Texas intermediate crude oil opens trading Monday at $88.01 a barrel — 14% lower than April 2012 levels. Wholesale gas futures are trading around $2.60, another positive sign for lower pump prices in the weeks ahead, DeHaan says.

In some states, prices could fall below $3 a gallon.

California, currently averaging $3.94 a gallon — the highest in the continental U.S. — could see prices dropping to $3.75 a gallon, DeHaan says.

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