Six weeks after an all-time spike put Tampa Bay gas prices close to $5 per gallon, drivers are finally seeing that price dip back below $4.
Average gas prices in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Citrus counties fell to between $3.96 and $3.99 on Thursday, the first time drivers have seen costs that low since early March. Pasco, Polk and Hernando counties fell below $4 earlier this week, and Sarasota was sitting at $4.03. The statewide average is $4 on the dot, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group.
While some stations around Tampa Bay and Florida have been advertising regular unleaded gas for under $4 for a while, the county-by-county average means prices are falling pretty much everywhere.
The reason? Earlier this week, AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said the drop is due to decreased demand, combined with the loosening of sanctions against Russian gas companies, allowing them to deliver more fuel.
“This has those in the market believing that Americans are changing their driving habits to offset rising gas prices,” Jenkins said in a statement. “Those prices at the pump are moving lower as a result.”
Prices remain historically high; Thursday’s statewide average of $4 remains well above the mark of $2.98 at this time last year. But they are back below historic averages. Before this year’s price hikes, the previous statewide record, set during the great recession in 2008, was $4.08 per gallon.