Gas prices: Lowest since 2005

Price at the pump slips for the 72nd day in a row to $1.835 a gallon, according to AAA.

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By Kenneth Musante, staff writer

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NEW YORK ( -- Gas prices fell to their lowest level since 2005, coming within 4 cents of $1.80 a gallon, according to a daily survey of gas station credit card swipes by motorist group AAA.

Gas prices slipped 1.1 cents to a national average of $1.835 a gallon, according to Friday's survey.

Prices have fallen by more than 55% since hitting a record high of $4.114 a gallon in mid-July as the price of crude oil, gasoline's main ingredient, has plummeted.

Concern about falling fuel consumption in the midst of the current economic crisis has propelled oil prices down more than 60% since July.

Typically, energy expenditures are the first to be trimmed back during periods of economic sluggishness as business activity declines and consumers try to save money by driving less, say economists.

Gasoline prices are now below $2 a gallon, on average, in 43 states. Missouri had the lowest prices at $1.546 a gallon. Alaska continues to have the highest prices at an average of $2.817 a gallon.

Diesel: The price of diesel fuel, which is used by most trucks and commercial vehicles, fell 1.2 cents to a national average of $2.775 a gallon, according to AAA.

Diesel prices have fallen more than 40% since hitting a high of $4.845 in July.

Ethanol: Meanwhile the price of E85, an 85% ethanol blend made primarily corn, has also fallen 1.2 cents to $1.617 a gallon on average, according to AAA.

E85 can be used as a gas substitute in special configured "flex-fuel" vehicles. However, it is difficult to find outside of the corn-producing Midwest region, and it is not sold at the pump in some states.

The AAA figures, compiled by Oil Price Information Services, are state-wide averages based on credit card swipes at up to 100,000 service stations across the nation. Individual drivers may see lower fuel prices in different areas of each state. To top of page

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