Gas prices drop a bit - survey

(CNN) -- Gasoline prices fell an average of $1.4 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, but remain well above last year's mark despite high unemployment cutting into demand, according to a new nationwide survey.

The latest Lundberg Survey, conducted Friday, found the average U.S. price for self-serve regular at slightly over $2.72 per gallon. But that's nearly 87 cents a gallon more than drivers were shelling out in late January of 2009, said Trilby Lundberg, the survey's publisher.

"This is discouraging motorists who are already cutting back their demand due to unemployment," Lundberg said.

Crude oil prices have dipped recently, but remain above more than $70 a barrel -- about $30 more than last year. And with 10% unemployment, fewer people are buying gasoline to get back and to work.

"Without that work commute, gas demand has been ravaged," Lundberg said. That, in turn, has prompted refiners to mothball more than 20% of their capacity, keeping more fuel off the market, she said.

The highest average prices in Friday's survey were in Honolulu, Hawaii, at $3.32 per gallon. The highest prices in the continental United States were in the San Francisco Bay area, at $3.04. The lowest were in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at $2.45.

A sampling of prices in some other cities:

Atlanta, Georgia: $2.64

Boston, Massachusetts: $2.76

Chicago, Illinois: $2.90

Denver, Colorado: $2.50

Houston, Texas: $2.55

Miami, Florida: $2.78

Phoenix, Arizona: $2.62

Portland, Oregon: $2.76 To top of page

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