Gas prices may hold steady this week
Published: Monday, January 3, 2011 at 7:41 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 3, 2011 at 7:41 a.m.
Gas prices at the pump rose by an average of three cents a gallon over the past week across Florida and nationwide according to AAA.
Average unleaded gas prices in Florida
Week ago: $3.063
Month ago: $2.903
Year ago: $2.683
Auto club officials also said it appears likely Florida's average gas price will remain at about $3.09 a gallon this week.
The major factor driving prices higher in recent weeks was the price of crude oil, which fell by 13 cents a barrel over the past week but remained at more than $90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"It's a mixed bag right now as to whether or not oil will increase this week," said Jessica Brady, manager of AAA Public Relations. "Although economists forecast a lag in demand, a currently weak U.S. dollar could drive the price of oil higher this week. In addition, investor optimism is high as forecasts project an increase in both heating oil and fuel demand for 2011."
Another factor in determining gas prices is supply. Federal energy officials said the nation's oil stockpiles fell by more than 20 million barrels to 339 million barrels in December. Federal records show that is the biggest decline in oil stockpiles in four years.
The decrease is attributed to increased demand due to holiday travel and the seasonal need for heating oil. Some economists area forecasting that oil prices will fall this week as stockpiles are replenished.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.