Gas prices in some areas slip below $1 a gallon

Gasoline prices again have dropped below $1 a gallon in some parts of the United States, the lowest levels since May, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Prices for self-service ''regular'' gas fell to 99.9 cents a gallon at some stations, especially in the Los Angeles area, as major oil company refiners shaved prices and offered dealers special discounts as an incentive to sell more gasoline.

But dealers' profit margins increased to 10.08 cents a gallon (up from 9.85 cents in November), indicating stiff competition among refiners while gas stations keep an increasing portion of the price for themselves.

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