Gas prices up now, but 2019 a good year for gas prices overall

Gasoline averaged $2.50 a gallon in 2019, much lower than in 2018

Gasoline prices in Florida climbed an average of 4 cents per gallon in the past week and appear to be finishing 2019 higher than this time of last year, but overall 2019 was a year of lower gas prices, AAA — The Auto Club Group declared Monday.

Average gasoline prices statewide hit $2.46 going into Monday, AAA announced in its weekly tracking. That price is 4 cents higher than last Monday and nearly 30 cents higher than the price heading into the last New Year, AAA reported.

And yet, gas prices were generally lower throughout 2019 than they were on the same dates in 2018. So the overall average for the cost of a gallon of gasoline in Florida during the year 2019, $2.50, was a full 15 cents lower than the overall average price the previous year.

Still, prices likely will be trending upward soon, meaning gas will cost more this winter, AAA cautioned.

“Gas prices could be dragged even higher this week,” Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group, stated in a news release issued Monday morning by the organization. “The state average could soon exceed $2.50 per gallon, based on the current level of wholesale gasoline. Crude prices rose last week after U.S. crude supplies dropped more than expected. The fuel market also remains bullish over optimism of a possible US-China trade agreement. These factors have gas prices going opposite of their usual downturn this time of year. Even still, gas prices are hovering within the same range they’ve been in since August.”

“Looking forward, gas prices in 2020 are likely to follow a similar trend as in 2019; with price hikes in the spring, then a steady decline through the fall,” Jenkins continued. “Looking at futures prices, Florida gasoline could average around $2.50 per gallon in the first quarter, then jump 20-30 cents in the spring as refiners conduct seasonal maintenance and switch to summer gasoline. From there, gas prices decline slowly from July-September, then more rapidly through the end of the year. Based on current projections, Florida’s state average could finish 2020 in the $2.30 price range.”

Drivers in Orlando and Tampa Bay are enjoying the lowest prices right now, with an average gallon costing $2.41 in those markets, AAA finds. In Jacksonville, drivers are paying $2.42.

Drivers in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton are paying the most, an average of $2.58 per gallon. In Gainesville, the average price is $2.52, and in Sebastian-Vero Beach, $2.51.

Average price in Fort Myers is $2.43; Naples, $2.47, Miami-Dade, Pensacola, and Panama City: $2.48; and Fort Lauderdale, $2.49.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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