The average price of a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline in San Diego County continued its sharp decline today, falling 2.6 cents to $2.796 - 29.4 cents less than a week ago.
The average price is 78.5 cents less than at this time last month, $1.834 less than the record high of $4.63 set on June 19 and 42 cents less than at this time last year, the Oil Price Information Service reported.
The average price has fallen for 49 consecutive days, dropping 99.8 cents, including 3.5 cents from Saturday to Sunday.
The price drop is the result of lower demand, a steady decline in crude oil prices stemming in part from the worldwide economic downturn, and reduced speculation by futures traders, Automobile Club of Southern California spokesman Jeffrey Spring told City News Service.
Despite Friday's $1.85 increase to $67.81 in the price of a barrel of light, sweet crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the price fell 33 percent in October, the largest monthly drop since futures trading began 25 years ago and 54 percent since hitting a record high of $147.27 on July 11.
The price of crude oil accounts for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull, director of strategic communications for the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing major oil companies in six Western states.