Motorists enjoy cheap gasoline regular drops 14 cents in year

May 26, 1998|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Millions of drivers out on the roads during the Memorial Day weekend paid among the lowest prices for gasoline in decades.

The drop in crude oil prices brought the national average price for unleaded regular gasoline close to $1.10 a gallon last week, according to the American Automobile Association. That was about 14 cents lower than last year.

In its monthly survey, the association said that while there was a small rise of about 1.9 cents a gallon in the price of gasoline this month, the price fell 21 cents a gallon from October to April.

The decline in gasoline prices came after the steep drop in oil prices since October, when a barrel of crude was in the $23 range. On Friday, crude oil for July delivery settled at $14.78 a barrel, up 15 cents.

Most oil industry analysts predict gasoline prices will go up only moderately as the summer driving season builds, since crude oil prices are expected to remain low. There could be price spikes because of high demand.

Pub Date: 5/26/98

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