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Summer gas prices will be cheaper than expected, feds say

By Star-Advertiser staff & Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:43 p.m. HST, May 8, 2012

NEW YORK >> The government says gasoline will be cheaper this summer than previously expected thanks to a drop in the price of oil. 

The Energy Department says drivers in the U.S. should pay an average of $3.79 per gallon at the pump from April through September. That's down 16 cents from last month's outlook and not that dramatic an increase from last summer's average of $3.71 per gallon.

This month's forecast is a reversal from previous warnings of a sharp rise in gasoline prices. The government had said last month that gasoline prices in May could jump above a monthly average of $4.01 per gallon.

Oil prices have dropped about $7 per barrel since April 2.  

The national average for gas has declined 17 cents since early April to $3.76 per gallon on Tuesday. 

Drivers in Hawaii pay the highest average price per gallon in the nation. Gas prices here have been dropping in recent weeks, although not as fast as on the mainland.

Today's statewide average of $4.55 a gallon for regular gas is 6 cents cheaper than last month and 3 cents cheaper than on this date last year. Prices dropped about a penny from Monday and are 3 cents lower than last week.

Honolulu's average price for a gallon of regular gas is $4.41 a gallon, down about a penny from Monday about 6 cents cheaper than last month. The price of gas in Honolulu dropped about 4 cents from last week and is 7 cents cheaper than this date last year.

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