CHICAGO (CBS) — Drivers are seeing relief at the gasoline pump, with prices falling 15.5 cents a gallon in the past week.

According to, the average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.80 in Chicago, compared with a national average of $3.67. The national average dropped about nine cents.

The average Chicago price is nearly 50 cents lower than a month ago.

However, motorists are still paying more than a year ago–about a quarter more per gallon.

“Only one other time in the last few years have we seen the national average drop so significantly in the course of just a week, and that other time was in May 2011,” said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

“Looking back at our data, we only see that prices dropped considerably more in autumn 2008 when the economy slipped into a recession. Given the circumstances with this latest weekly decrease–that it has nothing to do with recession–is significant.”

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