That much-anticipated spring sting hasn’t been as bad as predicted, but gas prices are climbing again as we hit the final week of March.
As spring approached, analysts warned we could see prices climb as much as 30 cents per gallon this month. Though that hasn’t happened, with prices only about 3 cents higher on Monday than they were a month earlier, analysts continue to feel that prices will rise as we approach the peak driving season.
In fact, AAA says prices are expected to plateau at about $2.70 this summer, which would be 44 cents higher than Monday’s average of $2.26 in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.
“Whether gas prices reach that peak will depend on the direction of oil prices, which have slipped lower in recent weeks,” said Mark Jenkins, a AAA spokesman.
According to the AAA daily fuel tracker, prices rose 5 cents during the past week in the two-county region but remained lower than the state average of $2.29.
GasBuddy.com, which surveys more than 300 area outlets, had Manatee County stations averaging $2.23 on Monday, while Sarasota County outlets were at $2.27. Nearby, Hillsborough County was at $2.23, and Pinellas County was at $2.21.
The national average on Monday was $2.29.