Gas Prices dropping in Myrtle Beach, U.S.

You may have noticed recently a little relief at the pump, and experts say gas is expected to get even cheaper.

In the past 7 weeks, the average U.S. retail prices has dropped 38 cents to $3.60 per gallon. Locally, in Myrtle Beach, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded is down almost a quarter in just a month, from $3.54 to $3.31 a gallon. Another 25-cent drop is expected by mid-July.

When prices approached $4 in early May, drivers were worried that $5 gasoline was a possibility this summer. But since then, oil prices have collapsed, the result of slowing economic growth in developed countries, weaker demand for oil and gas and this week's decision by the U.S. and other countries to release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves. Economists say falling prices will only save drivers about $12.50 a month, but will raise consumer spending by psychologically making them feel they have more money, and making them feel freer to spend on travel, shopping and dining.

In Myrtle Beach, a tourist destination that primarily relies of drivers to come to the area for vacation, local drivers see hope in the gas prices going down.

"It will help the hotels area on the coast a lot." Mark Lentz says.

"I'm happy," James Steele says. "I think they use a lot of bogus excuses to raise the price of gasoline anyway."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.