AAA: Gas prices at five-month low ahead of July 4th weekend

Gas prices will drop to a five-month low just in time for the July 4th holiday, AAA said on Tuesday.

The $3.48 per gallon national average for unleaded fuel is the lowest since Feb. 1. While that's still the third highest on record for the Independence Day period, AAA said the relative drop amid a year of high prices would benefit the 34.4 million Americans expected to hit the highway for the holiday weekend.

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“Rising gasoline supplies have pushed average prices nationally below the psychologically important level of $3.50 per gallon just in time for one of the busiest travel periods of the year,” Avery Ash, a spokesman with AAA, said in a statement.

“While such relatively small savings are probably not worth celebrating, millions of Americans will be relieved to save a little extra money as they travel for Independence Day.”

AAA attributed the price decrease to two factors — gasoline supplies haven't been this high at this time in more than 20 years, and demand remains relatively weak. No states in the continental U.S. paid more than $4 per gallon for unleaded fuel for the month of June, AAA noted.

Still, AAA warned that gas prices could be on the rise in the near future.

“Gas prices remain high and may not drop too much further in July because crude oil remains relatively expensive,” Ash said. “Factors such as increased summertime demand and the impending hurricane season also could result in higher pump prices for motorists.”

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