---- — The price of gasoline remains very high by historic standards. But after seeing it run up to nearly $4 per gallon through the summer, area residents can welcome last week’s milestone. In Massachusetts the average price for self-service regular gas dropped below $3.50 per gallon, according to tracking by the auto club AAA. New Hampshire drivers saw the price move below the $3.40 level. The overall U.S. average fell to below $3.30.
Last week was the 11th straight week in which regional and national averages declined, according to AAA figures.
In Massachusetts the statewide average reached $3.456 per gallon for self-service regular on Wednesday. That was 4.9 cents lower than the prior Wednesday’s average of $3.505, the auto club reported. But on the same day one year ago, the Bay State average of $3.285 was 17.1 cents lower than Wednesday’s level.
The New Hampshire average dropped 4.5 cents over the seven-day span. AAA put the Granite State average at $3.366 on Wednesday, down from $3.411 the prior week. On the same day last year, the state-wide average of $3.229 was 13.7 cents lower than Wednesday’s figure.
Wednesday’s U.S. coast-to-coast average was $3.226, according to AAA. That represented an 8.9-cent decline from the prior Wednesday’s $3.315. Wednesday’s national figure was only a half-penny higher than the average a year earlier, when the auto club published a U.S. average of $3.221.