RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Inland Empire dropped today for the ninth consecutive day, falling 1 cent to $4.021.

The average price in Riverside and San Bernardino counties has decreased 7 cents over the past nine days, including three-tenths of a cent on both Monday and Tuesday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price is 5.9 cents less than one week ago but 4.4 cents more than a month ago and 31.5 cents higher than at this time last year.

The dropping pump prices follow a large decrease in wholesale gasoline prices as fears of a shortage disappeared, according to Marie Montgomery Nordhues of the Automobile Club of Southern California.