Gasoline prices may fall, the government said.

Consumers can expect to pay at least a nickel and maybe as much as a dime a gallon less for gasoline by Christmas as a surge of imports forces U.S. refiners to reduce profit margins and cut wholesale prices, the Energy Information Administration predicted. The agency said in its latest "Short-Term Outlook" that retail gasoline prices will fall from an average $1.22 a gallon in June to $1.13 by the first quarter of 1986. Both government and private economists agree that gasoline imports are having more of an effect on reducing retail prices than OPEC's inability to halt a continuing gradual erosion in crude oil prices. The surge of imports is coming mainly from Canada, Italy, Romania and China.

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