Gas prices tumble for a record 88 straight days

Gas prices hit another milestone on Monday in the United States: AAA reports that the national average price for gasoline has fallen for a record 88 days in a row.

Gas prices have dropped every day since Sept. 25, to the current national average of $2.39 per gallon.

The ongoing North American shale oil boom, along with a slowed-down global economy and OPEC's recent decision to continue its crude oil production at current levels, have all combined to push down the price of crude oil by around 40 percent since this past June.

And that downward trend is expected to continue. Over the weekend Saudi Arabia's oil minister said it was "not in the interest of OPEC producers to cut their production, whatever the price is."

And just in time for the holiday driving season, consumers have another bit of good news to contemplate when they drive up to the pump: AAA says the current week-over-week gas price drop of 15 cents is the largest such decline in over six years. At the same time, drivers are currently paying 43 cents per gallon less to refuel their vehicles, compared to last month -- and 85 cents compared to a year ago.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline is now below $3 per gallon all across the contiguous United States, with those average prices dropping by double-digits in every state and Washington, D.C.

The highest gas prices per gallon in the Lower 48 are currently in the Northeast, led by New York ($2.88), Vermont ($2.81) and Washington, D.C. ($2.80).

At the other end of the scale, drivers in Missouri ($2.07), Oklahoma ($2.09), Texas ($2.16) and Kansas ($2.17) are paying the least per gallon for retail gasoline.

The average cost of a gallon of gas in Hawaii is currently $3.59, and it's $3.22 in Alaska.

A monthly survey by Reuters, meanwhile, suggests that crude oil prices could bottom-out at some point during the first half of 2015, and begin to rise again around mid-year.