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AAA: FUEL PRICES CONTINUE TO DROP FOR CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY TRAVELERS

 SEATTLE, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Motorists planning a holiday driving trip can expect lower fuel prices than during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, AAA Washington said today.
 AAA Washington's recently completed poll of 130 service stations in 13 areas of central and western Washington reveals the average price for all grades of self-service fuel dropped 2 cents since the Thanksgiving survey, from $1.284 to $1.264. This is still 7.1 cents higher than the self-serve average for last year's Christmas holiday.
 The average price of self-service regular leaded gasoline decreased 2.9 cents a gallon to an average of $1.143, regular unleaded gasoline declined 2.3 cents to $1.203 and premium unleaded dropped 3.7 cents to an average of $1.356.
 Throughout most of western and central Washington a gallon of self- service regular unleaded gasoline averages between $1.159 and $1.252 a gallon, and self-service premium between $1.228 and $1.411. Self- service regular gasoline showed a similar spread in prices, averaging between $1.096 and $1.177 a gallon.
 Motorists who patronize full-service pumps can expect to pay an average price of $1.513 for regular, down 2.4 cents from November. Unleaded and premium unleaded sell for $1.586 and $1.697 a gallon, also down from the Thanksgiving survey.
 The American Automobile Association's nationwide survey of fuel prices conducted Dec. 15 indicates that the average price of self-serve regular unleaded dropped 0.3 cents from last week's average to $1.128. This is the lowest price for this grade of gasoline since May 12, 1992.
 The national Christmas holiday survey indicates that motorists traveling outside Washington state can expect to pay the most for self- service unleaded gasoline in Hawaii ($1.466) and the least in Missouri ($0.961). Regionally, prices were lowest in the Southeast and Midwest and highest in the Southwest.
 The national survey of self-service regular unleaded prices in the contiguous western states found Nevada reporting the most expensive gas with an average of $1.317 per gallon. California, Montana and Colorado followed with $1.284, $1.246 and $1.230 respectively. Wyoming reported the lowest price in the West with an average of $1.082 for self-serve unleaded.
 Over the upcoming holiday weekend, 50 percent of those stations polled in central and western Washington will be open around the clock, while 54 percent will be open throughout the holiday weekend.
 AREA-BY-AREA COMPARISON OF SELF-SERVICE REGULAR UNLEADED PRICES
 CITY 12/16/92 11/19/92 12/17/91
 Bellevue/Eastside $1.219 $1.249 $1.105
 Bellingham 1.252 1.251 1.159
 Bremerton 1.164 1.182 1.169
 Everett 1.223 1.245 1.126
 Lynnwood 1.187 1.213 1.079
 Olympia 1.231 1.250 1.159
 Renton 1.191 1.213 1.120
 Seattle 1.210 1.236 1.124
 Tacoma 1.195 1.159 1.079
 Tri Cities 1.159 1.240 1.193
 Vancouver 1.199 1.223 1.139
 Wenatchee 1.216 1.250 1.139
 Yakima 1.191 1.229 1.120
 Average $1.203 $1.226 $1.132
 -0- 12/21/92
 /CONTACT: Bruce Olsen or Mark Phelps of AAA Washington, 206-448-8468 or 800-562-2582/


CO: AAA Washington ST: Washington IN: LEI SU:

LM-SW -- SE001 -- 8737 12/21/92 11:31 EST
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Date:Dec 21, 1992
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