Oil prices dip below $80 per barrel

Prices for crude oil dipped below $80 a barrel Thursday morning. It’s the first time in more than eight months that prices have fallen that low, according to Bloomberg.

The decline follows a weekly Energy Department report that showed an unexpected increase in the U.S. oil supply as well as a statement by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday that it would extend its “Operation Twist” program, but would not undertake bolder measures to boost the U.S. economy.

Uncertainty over Europe’s debt crisis has also weighed on prices.

As oil prices have slipped, so too have prices that consumers see at the pump. According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gasoline Thursday was $3.47, down from $3.68 a month ago.

In some parts of the Washington region, average prices are even lower. AAA reports that they’ve hit $3.26 in Virginia and $3.39 Maryland. The average price in the District is $3.56, which exceeds the national average.

More from Post Business:

Mortgage rates sink to record lows

Jobless claims dip, suggesting hiring will stay weak

Manufacturing slump deepens from euro area to China

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economics news.
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