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Pump prices fall as summer travel season approaches


May 12, 1997
Web posted at: 2:27 p.m. EDT (1827 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- As Americans get ready to take to the highways and byways for the busy summer travel season, they are seeing good news at the gas pump.

The latest Lundberg Survey of prices at 10,000 gas stations, taken Friday, showed that gasoline prices in the United States are continuing to fall. In the two-week period prior to the survey date, the overall price of a gallon of gas dropped by one-half cent.

The survey results showed a continuation of a downward trend in prices that began in January. And drivers will find the price of a gallon of gas more than 11 cents below where it was at this time last year.

"The lower prices just before the summer driving season kicks off (are) likely to encourage gas consumption, travel and the economy," said survey editor Trilby Lundberg.

The overall price nationally for all grades of gasoline, sold both at full-service and self-service pumps, was 126.73 cents a gallon. The average price for the most popular fuel, regular unleaded at self-service pumps, was 121.45 cents, down nearly one-half cent from the last survey, taken April 25.

The drop in gasoline prices in the last four months is in sharp contrast to what happened during the same period of 1996, when the average gas price rose nearly 21 cents between January and early May.

"The main cause of the decline is lower crude oil prices the past few months," Lundberg said. "We're now into the fifth straight month of industry declines."


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