Last updated: July 31. 2014 1:30PM - 196 Views

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CHARLOTTE — Motorists in North Carolina are paying the lowest price at the pump in over a month and in July began paying less per gallon than a year ago. The downward trend is expected to continue, according to AAA Carolinas.

Gasoline prices in North Carolina average $3.44, compared to $3.56 a month ago. South Carolina’s average $3.24 per gallon is the lowest in the nation.

“Falling gas prices keep dollars in motorists’ wallets,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “As we rely less on overseas oil and at the same time consume less at home with more fuel-efficient cars, we have a perfect storm for declining prices at the pump.”

Today’s average gasoline price in North Carolina is also 20 cents less than Memorial Day. Gas prices have declined primarily due to record-high domestic refinery production. There is an abundance of gasoline in the market, which has helped bring down prices despite conflicts overseas.

Gasoline prices are in good position for the remainder of the summer driving season as long as refinery production remains strong and oil costs do not rise due to unexpected issues. One of the biggest threats to continued falling prices would be a major hurricane striking the U.S. Gulf Coast. Hurricanes, which have occurred in August, could disrupt oil production, refinery facilities and pipelines.

The Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point area has the state’s lowest average price for a gallon of gasoline at $3.40; Asheville is the highest at $3.57.

The national average saw the greatest gasoline price decline in six years for July. Today’s national average is $3.52.

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