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Mar 17, 10:31 AM EDT

Gas prices still dropping in New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Gas prices are still dropping in New Jersey, although analysts expect the decline to stop in the weeks ahead.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of a gallon of regular gas Friday in the state was $2.56, down two cents from last week. Motorists were paying $2.28 a gallon at this time last year.

The national average gas price Friday was $2.53, unchanged from a week earlier. A year ago, drivers across the nation were paying an average of $2.29 for a gallon of regular gas.

Analysts say strong crude and gasoline output "has kept a lid on a price jump recently" but high demand and refinery maintenance as well as the switch to summer blend gasoline will eventually mean higher prices.

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