MANATEE -- Average retail gasoline prices in the Bradenton-Sarasota area have risen 0.8 cent per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.07 a gallon this weekend, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 308 area gas outlets. This compares with the national average that has increased 0.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.29 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Prices Sunday were 123.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 15.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 11.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 99.5 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
"Few people on the eastern seaboard are concerned with gasoline prices today knowing that while the major impact of Hurricane Joaquin may be behind us, the Carolinas anticipate still more rain today exacerbating what has already been catastrophic flooding," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
Nationally, the price of gasoline inched up an average of about a cent during the past week, but prices leveled off during the weekend. The national average price of $2.29 is the cheapest for this day since 2004, according to AAA.
"Gas prices fluctuated during the past couple of weeks, because gasoline demand is unusually high at a time when refineries are entering their maintenance season," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Fortunately, the slight upward pressure on prices is typically short-lived and gasoline should get cheaper through the end of the year."
Refineries typically conduct maintenance in the autumn and spring when demand for gasoline, diesel and heating oil is relatively low. More refineries than normal have scheduled maintenance for the next few weeks, but much of this maintenance should wrap up by December, which would allow a steady decline in gas prices later in the year.