DEARBORN (WWJ/AP) – You haven’t traveled back in time. These gas prices are real.

AAA Michigan says the price at the pump statewide have fallen below $2 a gallon for the first time since the start of the year.

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The Dearborn-based auto club says Friday the statewide average is about $1.99 per gallon, down 24 cents from last week and about 92 cents less than this time last year. The decline comes as many people prepare to hit the road next week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Detroit-area average Friday morning was about $1.98 per gallon, down about 26 cents from last week and about 92 cents less than last year.

AAA Michigan, which surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state, attributes the decline to factors including an increase in refinery production, global supply levels and the value of the U.S. dollar.

Metro Detroit saw a similar trend last year, with prices down below $2 a gallon for about a month at around Christmas time. Analyst Patrick DeHann of GasBuddy.com told CBS Detroit that it looks like this year the cheap gas will stick around a little longer — perhaps through Valentine’s Day.

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“The lowest price in Detroit will be maybe in the $1.60, $1.70 range by the end of the year,” he said.

Before noon on Friday, GasBuddy showed the best price in metro Detroit was $1.65 at four gas stations — all of them in Dearborn: The BP at on Michigan Ave. at Greenfield, the BP on Michigan Ave. at Mason, the CITGO on Ford Rd. at N. Gully, and the Eagle station at Michigan Ave. near Telegraph Rd.

The highest price reported was $3.09 at the Marathon on West Rd. and Grange in Trenton.

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