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Gas Prices Drop to National Average of $3.71 Per Gallon

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gas prices are down again this week to about $3.71 for a gallon of regular unleaded, four cents less than last week’s national average, the U.S. Department of Energy reported Monday.

Concerns about the global economy have driven oil prices down on the world market, leading to a continued drop in gas prices here at home – this, even as the summer driving season begins to ramp up.

“Falling gas prices will continue to be the trend – at least for much of the country – with the exception of the West Coast,” GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said in an interview Monday with ABC News Radio. On the West Coast, the price of gas in most areas is over $4 per gallon, and averages around $4.25.

“I expect the national average to drop at least through Memorial Day and perhaps even longer,” DeHaan said.

“Unfortunately, the news that's pushing oil prices lower has to do with concerns about the improving economy, as well as some concerns about what is going on with the debt situation overseas in Greece.”

In the short term, DeHaan expects the national average will likely hover between $3.50 and “as much as $4 a gallon.”

“We will be in the upper $3 threshold for quite some time this summer,” he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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