Amid the global economic gloom, there's a ray of sunshine for summertime motorists in the U.S.: The price of gas has dropped 6 percent over the last month.
The national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.45 per gallon, its 10th consecutive daily decrease, reported motorist club AAA on Friday. That's compared to a national average of $3.67 on May 22.
Prices haven't been this low since Feb. 1. To put things in perspective, the national average price of unleaded in the U.S. is down 66 cents, or 16 percent, from its record high of $4.11 on July 17, 2008.
"There's an enormous amount of production out there," said oil Dan Dicker, author of "Oil's Endless Bid: Taming the Unreliable Price of Oil to Secure Our Economy." "(But) the demand picture looks weak."
He said the weak demand -- due to Americans driving fewer miles in cars with better gas mileage - is coupled with sour reports on the economy from around the world. This includes the ongoing contraction of Chinese manufacturing, a 16.6 percent drop in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional manufacturing index, and pessimistic comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
The decline in gas prices has mirrored a similar descent in oil prices. Oil was trading at $78.72 per barrel on Friday, up 0.6 percent for the day but down 20% year to date. The last time oil was trading this low was on Oct. 4, 2011, when it closed at $75.67 per barrel.