Gas prices down as Memorial Day nears

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Posted May 15, 2023 | Florida News Service

Gasoline prices in Florida continue to drift lower as relatively low global oil prices offset an increased demand for fuel. The AAA auto club said the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Florida was $3.48 on Monday, 8 cents lower than a week earlier and 6 cents below the national average.

“Increasing demand for gasoline would usually drive pump prices higher,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a prepared statement, “but the cost for oil has remained low lately, so drivers should benefit from stable pump prices as Memorial Day draws near.”

AAA projects nearly 2.4 million Floridians will travel more than 50 miles for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, 172,000 more than in 2022 and 96,000 more than in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Despite various inflationary pressures, consumer spending is strong, and Americans still want to travel,” AAA Vice President of Travel Debbie Haas said in a statement. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis with the fuel-savings app GasBuddy, said fuel-price averages hypothetically could sink below $3 a gallon with refineries operating just over 90 percent.

“Adjusting for inflation, US average #gasprices today are the same as they were in May 2018, but will soon be below then, and could fall below 2019’s inflation-adjusted level (from May) soon,” De Haan said in a Twitter post Friday. The highest average prices are in the West Palm Beach and Naples areas. The lowest average prices are in the Panhandle.

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