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    U.S. Gas Price Falls to $2.18 a Gallon, Lundberg Says

    The first reported decline since November, and could be the end of the crash.

    NEW YORK -- U.S. gasoline at the pump fell 14 cents in the past two weeks to an average $2.18 a gallon as crude oil prices declined, Trilby Lundberg said, citing her survey of about 7,000 filling stations nationwide in a Bloomberg report.

    "Depending on what crude oil prices do, this could be the bulk of the price crash or maybe the end of it," Lundberg said in an interview.

    It was the first decline reported by Lundberg since the beginning of November, the report stated. Crude oil futures in New York have fallen 15 percent so far this month as unseasonably warm winter weather curbed heating-fuel demand, causing a similar drop in benchmark gasoline futures.

    U.S. gasoline consumption is easing, according to the report.

    Crude oil futures touched $49.90 a barrel on Jan. 18, the first time prices dropped below $50 since May 2005. Additionally, New York had its third-warmest December on record, easing demand on crude oil supplies to produce heating fuels, the report stated.

    Average gasoline consumption for the four weeks ended Jan. 12 was 9.18 million barrels a day, lower than any time since the four weeks ended May 5 of last year, the U.S. Energy Department said on Jan. 18, according to Bloomberg.

    Gasoline inventories reported by the U.S. government increased for the past five weeks and are now 1.8 percent higher than the five-year average for this time of year.

    The highest price for self-serve regular gasoline was $2.81 a gallon in Honolulu, Lundberg said in the report. The lowest was in Detroit, at $1.86.

    On New York's Long Island, the price was $2.44 a gallon.

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