First, the good news: Average gas prices across Florida have declined seven of the past eight days.
The bad news? Drivers are seeing little in savings as that drop has totaled 1 cent.
On Monday, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Bradenton-Sarasota area was $2.20, according to AAA, down from $2.21 a week ago.
$2.20The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded on Monday in the Bradenton-Sarasota area, down from $2.21 a week ago
Manatee County stations were averaging $2.20 per gallon, a slight decline from $2.22 a week ago, while Sarasota County was at $2.21 for the second consecutive week.
More ominous news: Gas prices typically follow a downward trend through the final months of the year, said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins, noting that the national average dropped about 25 cents between Columbus Day and Thanksgiving in 2015.
But don’t expect more of the same this year, Jenkins said, unless oil prices drop. That’s not likely to happen -- prices are predicted to hold steady at around $50 per barrel -- before OPEC’s next meeting on Nov. 30, Jenkins said.
$2.24The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded on Monday in Florida, down from $2.25 a week ago
And if that wasn’t enough, for the first time in more than two years, the national average for a gallon of gas was higher than it was a year earlier.
“The trend that has delivered consistently lower gas prices is showing signs of fading away as consistent discussion from both OPEC and non-OPEC members appears to be aligned for a likely cut in late November,” Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said after the streak ended at 119 weeks.
Nearby, the average in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was at $2.19, down from $2.20 last week. Statewide, the average was $2.24, a slight drop from $2.25 a week earlier.
Oklahoma had the nation’s cheapest average price on Monday at $1.97 per gallon and was the only state coming in at less than $2. Hawaii continued to have the nation’s most expensive at $2.89 per gallon.