CAMARILLO, CA --- Prompted by declining demand at the pump, the average price of regular gasoline at U.S. filling stations fell to $2.78, the Lundberg Survey reported this weekend.

Gasoline dropped 53 cents, or 16 percent, in the two weeks ended Oct. 24, according to oil analyst Trilby Lundberg's survey of 7,000 filling stations nationwide. Crude oil, which represents about 73 percent of gasoline's pump price, has fallen 56 percent from a record $147.27 a barrel reached on July 11.

"There's never been a price crash like this,'' Lundberg said Sunday. Prices have dropped 88 cents over the past 30 days "thanks to lower crude oil prices and shrinking U.S. gasoline demand.''

The trend seems to be continuing. AAA reported on Sunday that regular gasoline at the pump averaged $2.699 a gallon, down 34 percent from the record $4.114 reached July 17 and 4.9 percent lower than a year ago.