Here’s some good news to start your week: Gasoline prices in the Bradenton-Sarasota area fell almost a nickel per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.46 a gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of area gas outlets.
Motorists visiting local gas pumps today will find prices an average 4.6 cents cheaper than a week ago, AAA confirmed. Statewide, prices declined 4 cents last week. The state average of $2.50 is 15 cents less than a month ago, but 22 cents more than this time last year.
“Gasoline should slide a few cents more this week, based on last week’s decline in wholesale prices,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman. “Pump prices are sliding right now because crude and gasoline output have remained strong. However, gas prices are still forecast to rise 20 cents in the coming months, as demand climbs and refineries switch to summer blend gasoline.”
In Tampa, prices remained even lower at $2.41 a gallon, down 7.0 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.48 a gallon.
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This compares with the national average that has fallen 1 cent per gallon in the last week to $2.51 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
According to historical data, local gasoline prices on March 12 have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.21 a gallon in 2017, $1.84 a gallon in 2016, $2.44 a gallon in 2015, $3.50 a gallon in 2014 and $3.81 a gallon in 2013.
“Oil prices remain volatile yet several dollars off recent highs. Gasoline prices remain in somewhat of a limbo as a result, with a mixed bag at pumps across the United States,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “But threats remain in the months ahead — we’re still expecting a surge, so motorists aren’t off the hook by any means yet.”