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Unexpected Surprise: Less Pain At The Pump For Holiday Driving

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End Of An Era

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -If you’ve tapped out your holiday weekend budget stocking up on beer and burgers for that Memorial Day bash, you can feel good about one thing; it cost you less to get to the supermarket this holiday, and if you plan to travel to someone else’s party, you’ll save at the pump.

Across the nation and around the Sunshine State, gas prices have been dropping since the first week in April, when unleaded regular was nipping at $4 a gallon and some were predicting $5 a gallon gas by summer.

However, since a peak of $3.96 a gallon prices in South Florida have dropped more than 50 cents a gallon in some places, with CBSMiami’s Pump Patrol reporting the cheapest gas in the area at a BJ’s wholesale store in Homestead, at $3.399 a gallon.

A year ago, Miamigasprices.com reported regular unleaded at 3.83 a gallon, and statewide, the AAA put it at $3.90.

The price cuts are a bit unusual because traditionally they rise as Memorial Day approaches, as it’s seen as the gateway to the summer driving season. However, with crude oil prices dropping and gasoline prices following suit, talk that high fuel prices would be a major theme of the presidential campaign have all but disappeared.

Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club South in Tampa, said she expects the price decline to continue for at least a few more weeks.

“As a result of the falling gas prices we have seen, and they are forecasted to continue to decrease, we could see more people traveling,” Brady said.

However, at least one source is giving us reason to enjoy the lower prices while we have them.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest forecast earlier this month predicted that gasoline prices will average about $3.79 a gallon this summer. about what fuel cost a year ago, but no where near the dire $5 per gallon predictions.

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