Mideast Violence, More Fed Stimulus Further Spikes Florida Gas Prices
Around the State
Mideast violence and the prospects of more federal stimulus measures helped spur additional growth in already increasing fuel prices, according to AAA.
Across Florida, gas prices rose by 2 cents in the past week, pushing the average over $3.80 a gallon, the highest the cost has been since April.
Areas of the state are already seeing prices top $4 a gallon.
Motorists in Port St. Lucie, now feeling the impact of layoffs from the state- and local-backed Digital Domain Media Group and Liberty Medical, were greeted Friday with pump prices at $4.07 a gallon for regular at a BP station in St. Lucie West.
AAA expects the retail prices to grow as a barrel of oil selling on the New York Mercantile Exchange started this week at $99, up $2.58 in the past week.
"With the stimulus announcement and increased tensions overseas, it’s surprising oil prices are not above $100 a barrel,” warned Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, in a release. "However, it’s very likely the cost of a barrel of oil will surpass $100 this week, as concerns of a supply disruption in the Middle East intensify.
"Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like motorists will see much of a decrease, if any, at the pump, as initially expected this time of year. Instead, gas prices are likely to increase.”
As the Mideast is once again in flames, the Federal Reserve announced last week plans to start pumping billions into mortgage-backed securities -- bonds comprised of home loans that are bundled together and sold to investors -- in hopes of reviving the housing market.
While analysts have cast doubts on the buying, the announcement did have a positive impact on the market. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index hit its highest level since December 2007.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, appearing on ABC with George Stephanopoulos, called the latest federal stimulus proposal further signs that President Obama’s economic plans aren’t working.
"I think printing more money, at this point, comes at a higher cost than the benefit it's going to create," Romney said.
Romney added that he wouldn’t keep Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke -- who has downplayed the expectations from the securities buy -- when his term expires in early 2014.
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