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Consumers May Find Some Relief at Gas Pump

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It may not be fast enough for some consumers, but the drop in pump prices is accelerating.

Retail gasoline prices are down a penny overnight to $3.74 a gallon for the national average on Tuesday, which is down 3 cents from a year ago. Last month, pump prices on average were the highest on record for February.

Analysts said the gasoline price slide could continue.

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"The savings could widen out to 20 cents to 25 cents per gallon this month," said OPIS analyst Tom Kloza. "The expanding gap should come as much cheaper wholesale prices work their way downstream and are compared with very steep increases that were characteristic of March 2012."

In 2012, almost every March day saw retail gasoline creep higher.

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Based on recent demand patterns, OPIS estimates that every penny of national savings on gasoline adds up to about $3.57 million per day.

"If U.S. gasoline prices move to say a 20 cent per-gal deficit to last year, there should be about $71.4 million more daily spending power for consumers after they take care of their fuel needs," Kloza said.

(Read More: Finding an Edge in America's Booming Energy Market)

So far the biggest year-over-year price drops have been in California, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington. But gasoline prices in Colorado and North Dakota, for example, are still significantly more expensive than a year ago.

—By CNBC's Sharon Epperson; Follow her on Twitter: @sharon_epperson

Disclaimer

  • Patti Domm

    Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • CNBC's Senior Personal Finance Correspondent

  • JeeYeon Park is a writer for CNBC.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

  • Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.

  • Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.