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Prices at the pump according to AAA Florida. Image via Drew Dixon.

Corona Economics

More COVID-19 cases means lower gas prices in Florida

After surging gas prices at the pump in May and June, July has brought lower prices for the fuel.

The more the number of coronavirus cases increase in Florida, the more gasoline prices drop, according to AAA Florida Auto Club data released Monday.

Prices at the pump are nowhere near the lows seen in March and April at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. But the price for an average gallon of the fuel has dropped for the past two weeks after several weeks of increases or stabilization. The average price for a gallon of gas dropped 2 cents in the past week to about $2.06 across the Sunshine State.

The price drop comes as more people in the state are starting to reduce travel again and increase social distancing as coronavirus infections have bounced back in record numbers this month after a reprieve in May and June.

AAA Florida spokesperson Mark Jenkins said gasoline prices in Florida should remain relatively flat or decreasing slightly in the coming weeks.

“Gas prices throughout the rest of the summer will continue to be influenced by COVID-19’s impact on demand, and the hurricane season’s potential to impact supply,” Jenkins said.

“Over the weekend, Hurricane Hanna made landfall in Texas, but stayed south of the region’s critical oil and gasoline infrastructure. A direct hit to the state’s southeastern coast could adversely affect the supply chain, leading to higher prices at the pump. For now, drivers should expect pump prices to be relatively stable this week,” Jenkins said.

Sunday’s gas prices in Florida represented the 18th consecutive day of declines in the state and some metropolitan markets have seen prices slip below $2 per gallon.

The average price for a gallon of gas for July thus far has been $2.09, which is still 12 cents higher than June’s average price per gallon. Still, July’s average price per gallon is the lowest for any July in 16 years in Florida.

The highest price for a gallon of gas in Florida the past week was in West Palm Beach at $2.17. Tallahassee and Gainesville tied for second at $2.14.

Punta Gorda recorded the lowest price at $1.94 per gallon followed by Orlando at $2 and Tampa at $2.01.

Written By

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.

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