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    Gas Prices Expected to Drop

    AAA survey finds fuel 24 cents a gallon lower than last year.

    NEW YORK -- U.S. motorists planning summer vacations may be pleasantly surprised by cheaper fuel prices this year, the American Automobile Association said yesterday. Nationwide, the average price for unleaded regular gasoline was 24 cents a gallon cheaper than last year, at $1.39 a gallon, according to AAA's survey of more than 60,000 gas station transactions.

    "This summer's more moderate gasoline prices will make summer trips during the Fourth of July holiday more affordable than last year," AAA said in a statement.

    Gasoline prices have remained nearly unchanged since April due to healthy fuel stockpiles ahead of summer, a stark contrast to last year's 30-cent price spike and regional supply scares.

    As usual, the most expensive gasoline was found in the West, at an average of $1.49 a gallon, while the cheapest was found in the Southeast, at $1.32 a gallon.

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