Gas prices may fall slightly this week


Published: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 10:07 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 10:07 a.m.

After rising by a penny or two a gallon over the past week, analysts predict gas prices could fall by a few pennies a gallon this week.

Facts

Average unleaded gas prices in Florida

Current: $3.117
Week ago: $3.096
Month ago: $2.996
Year ago: $2.773
SOURCE: AAA

Last week's $3.35 a barrel decline in crude oil prices was apparently the result of slowing demand, increasing stockpiles and a U.S. economic report.

The reduction in demand was seasonal - the holiday driving season ended - and so crude oil stockpiles increased over the past week. At the same time, labor officials announced payrolls nationwide only rose by about 103,000 in December, well below the projected 150,000 new jobs they expected to be created.

"Motorists will get a break at the pump this week as retail gas prices are expected to drop," said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club South. "A strong U.S. dollar also helped keep oil prices low last week, reducing its appeal as a commodity."

Brady said there was another development in domestic production, but it probably won't immediately affect prices at the pump.

"News surfaced that the Trans-Alaska Pipeline had to shut down on Saturday after reports of a leak," Brady said in her weekly news release. "The leak caused BP to reduce oil production at Alaska's North Slope by 95 percent. At this point it is not expected to affect the price of oil or retail gas prices."

Nationwide, gas prices rose by a penny a gallon to an average of $3.08. Across Florida, prices were up by two cents a gallon to $3.11.

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