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Gas prices dipping below $3?

More dipping gas prices? More dipping gas prices?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Amid the global economic gloom, there's a ray of sunshine for summertime motorists in the U.S.: The price of gas has dropped 6% over the last month.

The national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.45 per gallon, its tenth consecutive daily decrease, reported motorist club AAA on Friday. That's compared to a national average of $3.67 on May 22.

Prices haven't been this low since Feb. 1. To put things in perspective, the national average price of unleaded in the U.S. is down 66 cents, or 16%, from its record high of $4.11 on July 17, 2008.

"There's an enormous amount of production out there," said oil Dan Dicker, author of "Oil's Endless Bid: Taming the Unreliable Price of Oil to Secure Our Economy." "[But] the demand picture looks weak."

He said the weak demand -- due to Americans driving fewer miles in cars with better gas mileage - is coupled with sour reports on the economy from around the world. This includes the ongoing contraction of Chinese manufacturing, a 16.6% drop in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional manufacturing index, and pessimistic comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The decline in gas prices has mirrored a similar descent in oil prices. Oil was trading at $78.72 per barrel on Friday, up 0.6% for the day but down 20% year to date. The last time oil was trading this low was on Oct. 4, 2011, when it closed at $75.67 per barrel.

Meanwhile, a Friday USA Today report suggested consumers could see prices at $3 a gallon - or less - by autumn.

According to the report, motorists in some regions are already paying less than $3 a gallon. The report says that people in South Carolina, where the average price is a U.S. low of $3.06, nearly 30% of service stations are selling gas below $3.

Gas prices are averaging $3.66 a gallon (year-to-date) vs. $3.53 in 2011, according to the report.

CNN © 2012 Cable News Network.Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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National average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.45 per gallon Prices haven't been this low since Feb. 1 Oil was trading at $78.72 per barrel on Friday Stations in South Carolina are already selling More>>

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