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U.S. gas prices fall nearly 4 cents in latest survey

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Latest survey puts U.S. average gas price at $2.73/gallon
  • Fuel glut, weak economy keeps prices down
  • Consumers seen in a "holding pattern"

(CNN) -- U.S. gasoline prices dropped by an average of nearly 4 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, according to a new nationwide survey released Sunday.

The U.S. average price of self-serve regular fell to $2.73 per gallon in the latest Lundberg Survey of about 2,500 filling stations, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said. That's down 3.9 cents per gallon from the last survey, on June 25, though about 17 cents higher than a year ago.

A recent dip in the price of crude oil and a continuing glut of refined oil products like gasoline are keeping prices low, while the still-staggering economy has consumers "in a bit of a holding pattern," Lundberg said. Unless the supply of crude is unexpectedly disrupted, "I doubt that we will see any dramatic rise or drps in gas prices in the next two weeks," she said.

Crude oil futures have been trading in the $70- to $80-per barrel range most of this year, closing at $76.09 on Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. And the unemployment rate of 9.5 percent has cut into demand, putting further downward pressure on prices.

Of the cities surveyed on Friday, the highest prices were found in San Francisco, California, at $3.16 per gallon. The lowest were found in Jackson, Mississippi, at $2.43.

Average per-gallon prices in other cities:

Atlanta, Georgia: $2.63

Billings, Montana: $2.78

Boston, Massachusetts: $2.74

Chicago, Illinois: $2.91

Denver, Colorado: $2.62

Houston, Texas: $2.51

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $2.73

St. Louis, Missouri: $2.56

Tucson, Arizona: $2.55