NEW YORK (October 23, 2012)---Benchmark oil dropped $2.32, or 2.6 percent, to $86.29 in afternoon trading in New York as big corporations cut earnings forecasts, raising concerns about economic growth and oil demand.
It's lost about 6 percent in the past three trading sessions and that’s starting to mean more relief at the gas pump for U.S. drivers.
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 2 cents overnight to $3.65 and the price has fallen 17 cents in the past 12 days.
Gas prices tend to fall at this time of year because refiners make a cheaper blend of gasoline for the cooler months, and people drive fewer miles.
This year, tepid economic growth means the chance of slower than normal demand, which is why gasoline futures have plunged 12 percent in less than two weeks, including a 6-cent drop Tuesday to $2.59 per gallon.
That could mean a few more dollars in consumers' pockets by the holidays.
AAA predicted Monday that the average price of gas should be down to between $3.25 and $3.40 by Thanksgiving.
The average was $3.32 a gallon on Thanksgiving last year.