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Gas prices fall 6.4 cents in Bradenton-Sarasota; 3 states below $2

BRADENTON -- Average retail gasoline prices in the Bradenton-Sarasota area fell 6.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.15 a gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 308 area gas outlets. This compares with the national average that has fallen 6.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.33 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Three Southern states posted averages below $2 per gallon: South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama, the first time that three states have had averages below $2 since February. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 28 days, reaching $2.33 per gallon. Drivers are saving 6 cents per gallon compared to one week ago and 33 cents vs. one month ago. Gas prices remain cheaper than last year because of the relatively low price of crude oil.

In Bradenton-Sarasota, prices Sunday were 116.7 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 27.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

"With the start of fall, gasoline prices have continued a fall of their own," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. "Crude oil prices fell some $2 per barrel last week, and there continues to be downward pressure on oil prices, which in turn will continue to weigh on the nation's average gasoline price. The long-mentioned switchback to simpler-to-produce winter gasoline will take effect Thursday.

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