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The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline decreased by 0.6 cents last week to $2.58, according to industry analysts at GasBuddy. MSN reported that the drop marks the fourth consecutive week of falling pump prices, although the price drops have been shrinking every week as well.

Crude oil traded around $56.10 a barrel early Monday (Dec. 2) morning, up about 1.7% from Friday’s closing price of $55.17. Over the past month, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for immediate delivery has dipped by about $0.45 a barrel (about 0.8%). Friday’s closing price was the lowest in the past month.

GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick DeHaan commented, “Moving in to December, aside from a possible trade deal that has been elusive for nearly 16 months, gas prices typically trend lower during the month as refiners continue to increase throughput after maintenance season and as overall weather curbs gasoline demand, easing prices. While prices are now notably higher than a year ago, I’d place much of the ‘blame’ on a strong U.S. economy and continued optimism that some sort of U.S. and China trade tie-up will be wrapped up.”

DeHaan also looked back at the Thanksgiving holiday, noting, “The nation’s average gasoline price on Thanksgiving was slightly higher than expected at $2.58 per gallon, with a close-to-even split with roughly half the nation’s states seeing average prices decline in the last week while the other saw upward moves on continued speculation on a possible U.S./China trade deal.”

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