U.S. drivers enjoyed the biggest one-week drop in gasoline prices since December 2008, as cheaper crude oil cut costs at the pump, the Energy

Department said on Monday. It was the second straight week prices fell; last week they were down just a penny from the week before, and that marked the first decrease in seven weeks.

The fall in prices should accelerate in spite of the fact that the Memorial Day weekend is usually one of the biggest periods of the year for fuel demand, analysts said.

The EIA says prices increased so dramatically over the past few months first due to unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and then to refinery and distribution threats, stemming from unplanned refinery outages on the East and Gulf coasts. Also, concerns surrounding flooding near the Mississippi River lead to price increases.

The statewide average is now $3.87 a gallon, which is still $1.14 higher than a year ago. Prices on Monday ranged from an average of $3.78 in Flint to $4.07 in Marquette.


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