Gasoline prices in Southern California dropping as holiday travelers hit road

Gasoline prices December 21, 2012

Ed Joyce/KPCC

Gasoline prices at this Newport Beach station reflect the continued decline since record high was set in October 2012.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Southern California has dropped to its lowest amount in a year to about $3.57.

The price in Los Angeles County declined to  $3.59, the average price in Orange County is $3.56, and in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties the price for a gallon of self-serve regular dropped to $3.55.

In L.A. County, the average price has dropped for 23 consecutive days and 71 of the past 72 days. It is also about 7 cents less than one week ago and about 23 cents lower than one month ago.

The Orange County average price is 7.1 cents less than one week ago and 22.6 cents lower than one month ago, but 4.3 cents more than one year ago. The streak of dropping prices is the longest since a 90-day streak from Sept. 16 to Dec. 14, 2008.

The average price in Riverside and San Bernardino counties has decreased for 18 consecutive days and 69 of the past 74, dropping $1.14 over that span, including a half-cent on Thursday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

"We have seen California wholesale gas prices jump up by nearly 20 cents in the last couple of days, but there is still room in the margin between wholesale and retail prices for further price declines," said Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Gasoline prices traditionally drop to their lowest amounts of the year from November through January because of decreased demand, according to Marie Montgomery Nordhues of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

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