For the first time in days, we’re reporting a dip in local gas prices — albeit a tiny one.
Average retail gasoline prices in the Bradenton-Sarasota area fell 0.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.28 a gallon Tuesday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 308 area gas outlet. The national average increased 2.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.28 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
An estimated 93.6 million Americans are expected to take a road trip during the 11-day Christmas and New Year’s holiday stretch. And gas prices on Christmas day were the highest in two years. The average price on Dec. 25 was $2.32 in Florida, $2.19 in Georgia and $2.09 in Tennessee. These prices were more than last year's holiday averages by 31 cents in Florida, 27 cents in Georgia and 32 cents in Tennessee, AAA reports.
Heading into 2017, gasoline demand is expected to drop drastically during the month of January following the busy holiday travel season. But oil prices are about $20 higher than this time last year, which will prevent pump prices from falling 10 to 20 cents like they did during January 2016, AAA reports.
Locally, prices heading into the week were 31.3 cents per gallon higher than one year ago and 24.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 16.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 28.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
“While the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude closed last week near $53 per barrel, it's doubtful that we'll see any momentum this week since trading is generally low volume between Christmas and New Year's Day. Similarly, expect the aggressive escalation that we saw for retail gasoline prices through much of December to stall out in the final week of the year," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
"Overall, the national average price of gas is 28 cents higher than where it was a year ago on this day and prices in most metros and states across the country are higher too; with the remarkable exception being California whose statewide average today is 13 cents lower than last year and the Los Angeles' average, believe it or not, is 27 cents less than a year ago," Laskoski noted.