Gas prices continue to surge across Florida, according to a new study from AAA.
On Monday, AAA released a report showing prices went up, on average, eight cents a gallon over the past week and 68 cents a gallon since the start of the year. On Sunday, the average gallon of gas in Florida cost $2.80, almost 20 cents higher than last month and 15 cents higher than this time last year. Prices in Florida remain under the national average which stood at $2.83 a gallon on Sunday.
Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group, sounded an optimistic note on Monday, noting the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects gas prices to be less expensive this summer than last year. Jenkins also pointed out that EIA has found supply levels dropping across the past eight weeks.
“Florida gas prices may seem high now, but the state average is still less than last year’s high,” Jenkins said on Monday. “Although springtime travelers may not be enjoying the recent jump at the pump, it doesn’t seem to be slowing them down either. The latest figures from the EIA point to strong gasoline demand, which eclipsed the levels seen this time last year. Lingering supply issues are keeping upward pressure on prices at the pump, but relief should come soon, as refineries are expected to return to full strength in the coming weeks.”
“For the 2019 summer driving season that runs from April through September, EIA forecasts that U.S. regular gasoline retail prices will average $2.76 per gallon (gal), down from an average of $2.85/gal last summer. The lower forecast gasoline prices primarily reflect EIA’s expectation of lower crude oil prices in 2019. For all of 2019, EIA expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.60/gal and gasoline retail prices for all grades to average $2.71/gal, which would result in the average U.S. household spending about $100 (4 percent) less on motor fuel in 2019 compared with 2018,” AAA noted.
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton has the most expensive gas in Florida with prices averaging $2.87 a gallon followed by Homosassa Springs at $2.82 a gallon and Ocala at $2.81 a gallon. Pensacola had the least expensive gas at $2.71 a gallon followed by Panama City at $2.73 a gallon and the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach market at $2.74 a gallon.