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NEW YORK -- Gas prices are falling, although it depends where you look to determine how much and when the decrease started.
The Energy Information Administration's weekly survey of gas retailers found that the national price for regular gasoline averaged $3.08 a gallon, the lowest level in more than a month. Prices dropped 8.1 cents a gallon since the last survey, the third consecutive week of falling prices, according to the report, which was cited by Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Lundberg survey of gas retailers found that the national average price for gasoline fell seven cents to $3.11 per gallon in the last three weeks, marking the first decline since January, according to an Associated Press report.
However, both surveys agreed that prices are falling as gasoline inventories increase due to high motor fuel imports. While U.S. oil refineries are still operating below normal levels, more refiners are expected to come back online this month, leading to downward pressure on pump prices, Reuters reported.
The "wonderful news is that, although prices gained a whole dollar this year, they're down seven cents because imports of gasoline are coming in to rebalance supply and demand," Trilby Lundberg, industry analyst and publisher of The Lundberg Survey, told the AP.
The downward prices might not last, as gasoline demand is expected to increase in July and August, Reuters reported. In addition, Lundberg warned that the decrease is not a signal to dramatic price drops.
"Our refining capacity is still coming back from four months of terrific work projects and accidents, and imported gallons are making up the difference," Lundberg said. "That isn't going to change overnight, so we'll probably see a few more cents at the pump here and there over several weeks, but not 93 more cents worth."
The Lundberg survey found that Chicago held the nation's highest gasoline prices, at $3.61 per gallon for regular. The lowest price for regular gasoline can be found in Jackson, Miss., with prices at $2.87 a gallon.