comscore U.S. gasoline prices cheapest since January | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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U.S. gasoline prices cheapest since January

    With prices at $3.09 at the Ballingers Gas station on Union Ave in Memphis, Tn. June 26, 2012., motorists can afford to fill up and still leave a couple of bucks tip for Travis Wayne who provides full service at the little gas station, one of the few stations in Memphis that still provides full service. (AP Photo/Jim Weber, The Commercial Appeal)

NEW YORK >> The price of gasoline has dropped to the lowest level in five months, giving drivers some relief ahead of the July 4 holiday.

The national average fell to around $3.38 per gallon today. Gas is now below $3 in South Carolina and under $4 in every other state except for Alaska and Hawaii.

Hawaii’s average price of  about $4.30 remains the highest in the nation, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Regular gas in Alaska is at $4.16.

Americans are now spending roughly $200 million per day less at the pump than in early April, when gas peaked at $3.94 per gallon.

Hawaii’s prices dropped about 32 cents from a record high of $4.62 on April 11. In Honolulu, the average price is about $4.19, according to AAA. Wailuku has the highest average at $4.73, while Hilo’s gas prices average $4.27 for regular.

The savings at the pump hasn’t encouraged people to drive — or spend — more this summer. They’re buying about 5 percent less gasoline than they did last year, even though a gallon is 18 cents cheaper.

Saving a few dollars at the pump also does only so much for consumer psychology.

A private consumer research firm said Americans continue to be rattled by the sluggish economy. The Conference Board’s reading of consumer confidence fell in June for the fourth month in a row. It said worries about the unemployment rate, low home values, a shaky stock market and a struggling European economy could hamper consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

Worries about the global economy are keeping oil near 8-month lows.

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