LOS ANGELES -- The average price of a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline in Los Angeles County fell 2.4 cents Monday, the 55th consecutive daily decline, to $2.598 -- 24.8 cents less than a week ago.
The average is also 88.6 cents less than at this time last month, 71.9 cents less than at this time last year and $2.028 less than the record high of $4.626 set June 21, the Oil Price Information Service reported.
The average has fallen $1.169 over the past 55 days, including 3.5 cents from Saturday to Sunday.
The Orange County average fell 2.3 cents Monday to $2.561 -- 24.1 cents less than a week ago, 88.6 cents less than at this time last month, 73.2 cents less than at this time last year and $2.037 less than the record high of $4.598 set on June 19.
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The Orange County average has declined 56 consecutive days, shedding $1.19, including 2.6 cents from Saturday to Sunday.
The Los Angeles and Orange County averages have fallen to their levels of mid-February 2007.
The dropping prices are a result of lower demand, a steady decline in crude oil prices caused by the worldwide economic downturn, and reduced speculation by futures traders, Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California told City News Service.
The price of a barrel of light sweet crude rose $1.62 in early trading Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange to $62.66, 57 percent less than the record high of $147.27 set July 11.
Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, said Tupper Hull, director of strategic communications for the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing major oil companies in six Western states.