CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline plunged 19 cents over the past two weeks to $4.86 per gallon.

In Eastern North Carolina, the news is even better as prices have dropped below $4 in many places.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the continued decline comes as crude oil costs also fall.

“Assuming oil prices do not shoot up from here, motorists may see prices drop another 10-20 cents as the oil price cuts continue making their way to street level,” Lundberg said in a statement.

The average price at the pump is down 24 cents over the past month, but it’s $1.66 higher than it was one year ago.

While it does sound like good news, economists say it’s actually the result of a struggling economy, meaning people have been unable to fuel up at the high prices. As a result, they are driving and going out less, resulting in a decreased demand.

“Drivers are now consolidating their trips,” N.C. State professor and economist expert Dr. Mike Walden. “They’re changing their trips. Businesses are beginning now to think about contracting some of their production.

“We’re seeing actually some announcements of layoffs in North Carolina. So I think the main reason we’re seeing oil prices go down is because the outlook for the economy has worsened.”

Triple AAA reports North Carolina’s average gas price is at $4.31 a gallon, 13 cents lower than last week. They say this is because the cost of crude oil plummeted by $10 a barrel in just two days.

“And we all know that what we pay at the pump accounts for about 60% of our crude oil prices are set. So when you have crude oil prices declining, gas prices tend to follow,” said Tiffany Wright with AAA.

Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $6.14 per gallon. The lowest average was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at $4.19 per gallon.

According to the survey, the average price of diesel dropped 13 cents since June 24 to $5.76 a gallon.