TAMPA, Fla. - Snow storms in the Northeast and better than expected growth in China have kept upward pressure on fuel prices. In addition, the ongoing switch to the summer blend fuel and refinery maintenance pushed oil and gas prices higher in the past few weeks. As a result, gas prices are expected to increase into April.
Last year gas prices peaked in April, then headed on a downward trend through the summer months. This year is forecast to have a similar trend, but with lower gas prices overall, barring any unforeseen events that have a major impact on fuel supplies.
"Gas prices are still forecast to peak in April, so it's likely motorists will see pump prices steadily increase during the next couple of months," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "However, the national average is not expected to exceed $4 a gallon this year for regular unleaded gasoline."
A barrel of oil closed Friday at $95.72 on the New York Mercantile Exchange-$2.05 less than the week prior.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.58, 7 cents more than last week. Florida's average price of $3.64 increased 8 cents from last week. Georgia's average of $3.47 rose 2 cents and Tennessee's average of $3.35 increased 4 cents from last week, respectively.