On average, it was the same-old, same-old at the pumps overnight, with prices unchanged, AAA Mid-Atlantic says.

The average for a gallon of regular no-lead stayed at $1.69 in the five-county Philadelphia area, but that was $1.39 lower than at the start of this year, the auto club said.

South Jersey's average remained at $1.45 - $1.43 lower than at the start of 2008.

The national average finished the year at $1.62 - $1.42 lower than the the beginning of the year.

Diesel prices didn't show much movement overnight: The Philly area was down 2 cents, to $2.65; South Jersey was down 2 cents, to $2.34; and the national average maintained at $2.43.

Meanwhile, resurgent economic jitters sent benchmark oil prices below $38 a barrel today, as investors focused on the global slowdown that has dragged crude markets down some 60 percent this year.

Conflicts such as the fighting between Israel and Hamas usually propel prices upward because of increased fears that unrest could spread in the oil-rich Middle East.

Israel rejected mounting international pressure to suspend its devastating air offensive against Palestinian militants whose rocket barrages are striking ominously close to the Israeli heartland.

But after an upward blip early this week, oil has resumed its market slide as traders again turn their attention to disastrous economic fundamentals worldwide.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery slid $1.34 to $37.69 a barrel in light New Year's Eve electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by afternoon in Europe. The contract overnight fell 99 cents to $39.03.

Prices hit a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11, fueled by speculation that soaring growth in emerging economies, such as China and India, would boost demand for crude.

However, investor sentiment turned sour in the second half of the year as a credit crisis in the United States mushroomed into a global slump in consumer spending and industrial production, driving prices to their lowest in almost five years at $33.87 earlier this month.

Prices rose 57 percent in 2007 to $95.98 a barrel.