Average gas price soon under $2, lowest since recession

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FILE - In this July 16, 2015, photo, a customer refuels her car at a Costco in Pittsburgh. U.S. consumer prices rose modestly in October, 2015 as low gasoline costs and a strong dollar have suppressed inflation. The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent last month after falling in September and August. Gas costs increased 0.4 percent in October but have plunged 27.8 percent over the past 12 months. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

FILE - In this July 16, 2015, photo, a customer refuels her car at a Costco in Pittsburgh. U.S. consumer prices rose modestly in October, 2015 as low gasoline costs and a strong dollar have suppressed inflation. The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent last month after falling in September and August. Gas costs increased 0.4 percent in October but have plunged 27.8 percent over the past 12 months. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

BY DAVID KOENIG

Gasoline is close to breaking below a key psychological barrier as drivers enjoy some of the cheapest pump prices since the recession.

The nationwide average price of a gallon of regular Saturday was $2.02, down 58 cents from this time last year, according to auto club AAA. Experts say it could drop below $2 in the coming days.

For consumers, this winter is shaping up to be a good one, energy-wise: With oil below $40, natural gas under $2, and a relatively warm winter predicted, they also stand to pay less to heat their homes.

According to data compiled by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, drivers in about half of the states are already paying below $2 for gas. South Carolina has the lowest average price at $1.79 a gallon. At the high end, Californians are paying $2.65 and Hawaiians are shelling out $2.76.

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