Gas prices inch downward but still average $3.28 per gallon

High prices expected through the holidays.

Pump prices got a little better in the past week, but they still don’t look very good to Florida drivers.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline fell to $3.28, from a seven-year high of $3.32 seen the week before, AAA — The Auto Club Group reported Monday. The previous Monday, Florida saw an average of $3.31 per gallon.

Floridians are paying an average of 16 cents per gallon more than a month ago, and $1.18 per gallon more than they did this week in 2020.

Nationally, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $3.42, AAA reported.

“Gas prices may inch a little lower this week, following the recent declines in the oil and gasoline futures market,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a news release issued Monday morning. “Despite the setback, significant upward pressure remains in the oil market. Prices are still at seven-year highs and are likely to remain elevated through the holiday season, which will in turn keep upward pressure on prices at the pump.”

AAA said the price of crude oil — which has been the main driver of rising gas prices this year — dropped 7% last week, as domestic oil production and stocks logged weekly gains.

AAA cited the crude price drop as the first real sign of weakness in the oil market in a month. Unfortunately for motorists, half of that oil price drop was erased by the end of the week, as fuel demand continues to outpace global supplies.

The price for U.S. oil settled at $81.27 per barrel, down $2.30 from the week before — lowering the cost of producing gasoline, the Auto Club Group noted.

In Sebring, that translates to an average pump price of $3.19, the best found in Florida on Sunday. On the other hand, in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market, drivers are paying an average of $3.45 per gallon, AAA reported.

Elsewhere, the lowest average gasoline prices in Florida were found in Punta Gorda and The Villages, $3.22; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, $3.23; Jacksonville and Orlando, $3.24; Fort Myers, $3.26; and Sarasota, $3.27.

On the higher end, Fort Lauderdale saw gas prices reach $3.34; Sebastian-Vero Beach, $3.33; Miami and Naples, $3.32; Panama City, $3.31; Tallahassee, $3.30; and Pensacola, $3.28.

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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