If it seems like you're shelling out less for gasoline than in the recent past, it probably isn't just wishful thinking. Steady, widespread declines in pump prices during July have lowered the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas to $3.59, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Thursday. That's 5 cents less than a week ago and 7 cents less than a month ago. Moreover, the national average is 7 cents lower than a year ago, and motorists in many parts of the country are now paying less or about the same as they did on July 17, 2013.
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In the Los Angeles area, for example, the $4.10 average price is the same as a year ago. The same goes for the $3.57 average in the Atlanta area. Steep declines in the Great Lakes area in recent weeks might have some motorists doing a double take when they check pump prices. In Illinois, the average price has fallen 27 cents during the past month to $3.67, 29 cents lower than at this time last year. The price drop is more dramatic in the Chicago area, falling 33 cents in the past month to $3.79, 38 cents less than a year ago. Statewide averages dropped 12 cents in the past week alone in Indiana and Michigan to $3.45 and $3.60, respectively. Indiana's average is 42 cents lower than a month ago and 37 cents less than a year ago, and Michigan prices have dipped 34 cents in the past month and 32 cents year-over-year. In Ohio, prices have fallen 42 cents in a month, and the current $3.42 average is 21 cents less than a year ago.