The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Inland Empire dropped Thursday to its lowest amount since Jan. 3, falling eight-tenths of a cent to $3.593.

   The average price in Riverside and San Bernardino counties has fallen 56 of the past 57 days, including one-tenth of a cent on Wednesday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

   The average price is 4 cents less than one week ago, 19.3 cents lower than one month ago and 24.5 cents below what it was one year ago. 

   The dropping pump prices are the result of lower wholesale prices and the Nov. 1 switch to winter blend gasoline, which costs less to produce, according to Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.