The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County dropped Thursday for the 44th consecutive day, decreasing a half-cent to $3.66, its lowest amount since Sept. 1.

The average price has dropped 46.9 cents during the streak, including a half-cent on both Tuesday and Wednesday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 4.6 cents less than one week ago and 31.7 cents lower than one month ago but 20.5 cents more than one year ago.

The average price has risen 26.9 cents since the start of the year because of a 12-cent state tax increase that went into effect July 1, higher cap-and-trade credit costs for refineries and a price spike in the fall when shortages were caused by refinery outages and no imported gasoline was available, according to Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The streak of decreases is the longest since a 46-day run from May 8-June 22.

The Orange County streak of increases was extended to 45 days, but barely, with a decrease of one-tenth of a cent to $3.581, its lowest amount since Aug. 30. It has dropped 50.7 cents during the streak, including seven-tenths of a cent Wednesday.

The Orange County average price is 4.4 cents less than one week ago and 34.1 cents lower than one month ago but 16.8 cents more than one year ago. It has risen 23.2 cents since the start of the year.

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