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Florida gas prices hit five-week low, dropping 62 cents per gallon

Drivers in Tampa Bay and elsewhere might soon see prices drop below $4 per gallon.
Gas prices are displayed as drivers pump gas at a Walmart Fuel Station Monday in Palm Harbor. Costs are on a downward trend.
Gas prices are displayed as drivers pump gas at a Walmart Fuel Station Monday in Palm Harbor. Costs are on a downward trend. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Jul. 18|Updated Jul. 18

A few weeks ago, Florida gas prices were threatening to hit $5 per gallon. Now it’s dropping closer to $4.

The average price for a gallon of fuel in Florida hit $4.27 per gallon on Sunday, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. That’s down 62 cents per gallon from an all-time high of $4.89 in June, and below the national average of $4.52 per gallon.

A gas pump is seen at a Walmart Fuel Station Monday in Palm Harbor.
A gas pump is seen at a Walmart Fuel Station Monday in Palm Harbor. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

The news is far from all rosy. Sunday’s average statewide price was up from $3 per gallon this time last year, and experts are predicting the price of fuel will rise again by this fall. But amid record inflation spikes across the economy, Florida’s five-week streak of falling gas prices comes as a slight relief.

“For the first time in a couple months, drivers in some Florida cities are beginning to find pump prices below $4 a gallon,” AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said in a statement. “While this might be an anomaly, the market is taking it as an indicator that Americans could be shifting driving habits in response to high prices.”

Jenkins said prices “could get even cheaper this week,” but the market “remains extremely volatile.”

“Prices have the potential to bounce back,” he said. “That particularly applies to hurricane season. If a major storm makes landfall along the Gulf Coast, impacting operations at refineries in Texas, Louisiana or Mississippi, prices could spike due to concerns about fuel supplies.”

In Tampa Bay, the average price per gallon sat just below the state average at $4.22. West Palm Beach was the metro area with the highest average price, at $4.52 per gallon.

Drivers pump gas at a Walmart Fuel Station Monday in Palm Harbor.
Drivers pump gas at a Walmart Fuel Station Monday in Palm Harbor. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
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