BRADENTON -- Average retail gasoline prices in the Manatee-Sarasota area have fallen 2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.07 a gallon starting this week, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 308 area gas outlets. This compares with the national average that has not moved in the last week at $2.29 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Prices in Bradenton-Sarasota were 121.2 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and 22.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 22.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 104.6 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
"Retail gasoline prices should be expected to continue a slow but steady descent, consistent with what typically occurs when cheaper 'winter blend' gasoline becomes more available as we near the beginning of the fourth quarter," said Gregg Laskoski, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. "The Great Lakes region may be the only one where a decline is less likely given the jump in Chicago wholesale fuel prices late last week. The spike brought Chicago wholesale as high as Los Angeles and to a tie for the highest wholesale gasoline prices nationwide."
Retail averages are up one-tenth of a cent, but on the whole remain discounted with drivers paying the lowest average for this same date since 2004, according to AAA.
Consumers are saving $1.05 per gallon compared to last year, largely due to the relatively low price of crude. The price of oil averaged $45.52 a barrel last week, which will help keep downward pressure on the price of gasoline.
In Florida, 22 percent of gas stations are selling gasoline below $2 a gallon. The state average price of $2.14 is 1 cent lower than a week ago, 20 cents cheaper than a month ago, and $1.15 lower than this time last year.