Courtesy photo

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Riverside County today dropped for the 55th time in 56 days, decreasing two-tenths of a cent to $2.666, its lowest amount since Dec. 22, 2016.

The average price is 3.5 cents less than one week ago, 34.4 cents lower than one month ago and $1.394 below what it was one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It has decreased 84.2 cents since the start of the year, including 1.5 cents on Tuesday.

The average price dropped 53 consecutive days, rose six-tenths of a cent on Monday, then resumed decreasing on Tuesday. It has dropped 80 cents over the past 56 days.

The 2016 average included stations in San Bernardino County.

The dropping prices are the result of a sharp decrease in demand as people reduced driving because of stay-at-home orders and higher unemployment stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, which caused gasoline inventories to increase, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.

The sharp drop in oil prices caused by a decrease in demand connected to the global economic downturn, a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and fears of global crude storage hitting capacity are additional reasons for the lower gas prices.

The crude oil price and supply and demand are the most important factors in the gas price.