U.S. retail gasoline prices have fallen more than 10 cents per gallon in a week and could fall another 25 cents by the end of summer, a sign the worst is over for U.S. motorists this vacation season.
The decline tracks a record pullback in the price of crude that has come amid mounting evidence high energy costs and an economic slowdown are shrinking American demand for fuel, auto and travel group AAA said Friday.
"We expect pump prices below $4 this weekend and we could see the price fall another 25 cents before Labor Day (Sept. 1), if oil prices don't rebound," said AAA spokesman Geoff Sundtrom. "We think it is primarily in reaction to the drop in demand by American consumers."
Average retail gasoline prices on Friday stood just over $4.00 a gallon, down 11 cents from the all-time high of $4.11 hit July 17, according to AAA's daily survey of up to 100,000 service stations.
Despite the recent declines at the pump, gasoline prices remain more than $1 higher than last year at this time, according to the AAA survey.
The highest prices in the country are in Alaska, where the average gallon goes for $4.68 and the residents of some remote villages are paying more than $8.50.