After sharply rising to finish the summer driving season, gas prices once again are on the decline.
Prices at the pump have dropped for 11 consecutive days, according to AAA, with the average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded falling to $2.13 on Monday in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.
According to the GasBuddy live tracker, which surveys 308 outlets in the area, prices were averaging $2.10 per gallon in Manatee County and $2.16 in Sarasota County. That’s six cents cheaper in Manatee than a week earlier, and three cents less in Sarasota.
The state average was $2.18, three cents less than a week ago. The national average also was $2.18, three cents less than a week ago and 18 cents less than a year ago.
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“Gas prices immediately began their seasonal downward trend at the beginning of September,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Gas prices should follow a downward trend through the rest of the year, unless there are refinery issues or if oil prices surge.”
Said Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy: “With the kids back in school we’re now at that point when gasoline demand eases and refineries also return to the cheaper winter- blend gasoline which should start reaching consumers later this week.”