After falling in recent weeks, gas prices across the Sunshine State are starting to increase with the state average rising 7 cents across the last week, the second largest weekly increase in the nation behind Indiana.
AAA released a study on Monday showing gas prices in Florida averaged $2.21 per gallon on Sunday. While still below the yearly average of $2.31 per gallon, that is up from where prices were earlier in the month and higher than gas prices in Florida at this time last year which stood, on average, at $2.12 per gallon. Across the nation, gas prices average $2.23 per gallon, up from $2.17 at this time last year.
Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group, said Floridians should expect higher gas prices in the upcoming weeks but expected them to drop after Labor Day even as OPEC produces less oil and domestic production has not met expectations.
“Consumers saw a sudden swing at the pump last week, as summer demand soars and crude inventories declined,” Jenkins said on Monday. “Gas prices should trend higher through the second half of the summer, and could challenge this year’s high of $2.47 before it’s all over. Fortunately, gas prices will drop after Labor Day, as demand weakens and refiners switch to winter-blend gasoline.”
On average, South Florida has the highest gas prices in the Sunshine State with motorists in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area paying $2.29, the highest regional average in the state. Miami saw an average of $2.24 per gallon while drivers in Pensacola paid, on average, $2.23 at the pump.
Motorists in the Tampa Bay area and in Jacksonville had the lowest gas prices in the state with the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and the Jacksonville markets all averaging $2.17.