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Gas prices expected to drop after Labor Day

Americans can expect gasoline prices to drop as school buses start rolling through neighborhoods across the country.

With most family vacations wrapping up and teen drivers back in classes, gasoline demand will wane and prices should fall after Labor Day. One expert says prices could drop as much as 15 cents a gallon.

The average retail price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline nationwide was $2.724 a gallon Friday, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. It has dropped about 4.6 cents in the past week but is still 10 cents more than it was a year ago.

[On Long Island, the average Friday was $2.914, down 31/2 cents from a week ago but still 4 cents higher than a year ago.]

West Coast drivers pay the highest amount, averaging between $2.856 a gallon and $3.544 a gallon. The cheapest gas is in Texas, and parts of the South and the Midwest.

Over the next month, motorists could see prices fall 10 cents to 15 cents a gallon unless there's a sudden increase in oil prices and in investors' confidence in the global economy, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service. Oil prices, down about $7 per barrel over the past two weeks, settled at $73.46 Friday. - AP

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