TAMPA, Fla. - Gas prices are expected to continue to follow their downward trend this month after crude oil prices tumbled to their lowest settlement since October.
The price of oil retreated well below $90 a barrel after the U.S. Labor Department reported the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent and employers added the fewest workers in a year last month. However, the U.S. is not the only country to report negative economic news.
Europe's debt crisis continues to worsen and has pushed their unemployment levels to record highs, caused the value of the euro to plummet, and demand numbers to fall. China, the second largest oil-consuming country, is not fairing any better with both manufacturing and demand numbers down. The price of a barrel of oil settled on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $83.23-$7.63 less than the week prior.
"Across the globe, pessimistic job reports and demand numbers have added nothing but bearish pressure to the market during the past several weeks," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "While none of this is good news, at least it has caused gas prices to fall, providing some relief to motorists. Gas prices are forecast to retreat further in the coming weeks and are well below last year's averages for the month of June."
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.59, 5 cents less than last week. Florida's average of $3.43 also fell 5 cents from last week. Georgia's average price of $3.36 is 4 cents less than last week's average and Tennessee's average of $3.28 decreased 6 cents from last week, respectively.