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Florida gas prices dropping, may not hit $5 per gallon after all

AAA says recession fears have cut into demand, which could push prices down to $4.50 per gallon.
After hitting around $4.90 per gallon, gas prices in Florida are falling, with costs in Tampa Bay nearing what they were on June 6, when this Sunoco gas station at the corner of 16th Street N and Central Avenue in St. Petersburg sold fuel for $4.79 per gallon. The average price per gallon in Tampa Bay was at $4.80 on Monday morning.
After hitting around $4.90 per gallon, gas prices in Florida are falling, with costs in Tampa Bay nearing what they were on June 6, when this Sunoco gas station at the corner of 16th Street N and Central Avenue in St. Petersburg sold fuel for $4.79 per gallon. The average price per gallon in Tampa Bay was at $4.80 on Monday morning. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Jun. 20|Updated Jun. 20

As the Fourth of July holiday weekend looms, Florida drivers appear to be getting a bit of relief at the gas station.

Gas prices in Florida have fallen 7 cents per gallon in the past week, according to AAA The Auto Club Group, hitting $4.82 on average on Sunday, down from an all-time high of $4.89 the week before. Prices were slightly lower in Tampa Bay, dropping from $4.90 per gallon a week ago to $4.80 on Monday morning.

The drops reflect a similar change nationwide. Gas has dropped back below $5 per gallon nationally, as the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate increase has diminished demand by stoking fears of a recession, said AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins. Reports that the Biden administration may tighten limits on petroleum exports — which had driven up prices to international buyers — may also be keeping prices in check. All of this drove U.S. oil prices down 9 percent in the last week.

For Florida drivers, the good news in the short term is that the average statewide price per gallon may not hit $5 anytime soon, as was predicted a couple of weeks ago.

Related: After setting record, when will Florida gas prices drop?

“If this downward trend holds, gas price drops could accelerate, moving the state average back around $4.50 per gallon,” Jenkins said in a statement. “But this fuel market remains extremely unstable, and things can change very quickly. It’s looking less likely that the state average will surpass $5 a gallon, but the driving season is young.”

The good news is all relative. Gas prices in Florida are still up from $4.50 per gallon a month ago and $2.94 per gallon a year ago. And across the nation, diesel prices on Sunday hit an all-time high of nearly $5.82 per gallon.

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