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Gas prices poised for third weekly decline ahead of busy holiday travel weekend

Flight cancellations prompt fears of travel chaos
Flight cancellations prompt fears of holiday travel chaos 03:21

U.S. motorists are spending less to fill up than last week and the week before, with gas prices poised for a third consecutive weekly slide as crude costs drop.

The national average on Thursday stood at $4.86 for a gallon of regular, down more than 8 cents from a week ago, according to AAA. Worries about the rising risk of a global recession has reduced demand for oil, with the price of crude falling to around $107 a barrel from $110 last week, the travel club noted in a news release on Monday.

"The cost of oil accounts for nearly $3 for every $4.89 at the gas pump. Consumers should find more relief when fueling up if oil prices drop further," AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement. 

Gas prices "will keep falling" and are headed for a third weekly drop, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, tweeted.

Still, the relief could be short-lived, as any abrupt changes to supply could quickly reverse the downward trend, he cautioned. 

"There is still risk that prices could go up and reach new records, mainly if there is a hurricane or some other such unexpected event that shuts down oil or refining production. That's a worry amid what's turning out to be a pretty brisk summer for demand," De Haan told CBS MoneyWatch.

The national average for regular unleaded gas hit a record high just above five bucks a gallon on June 16, spurring increased interest in fuel and gas cards as Americans hunt for ways to fill up for less.

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