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Tuesday May 5th, 2015 5:23AM

Gas prices inch upward

By Staff
TAMPA, Fla. - Gas prices were steadily moving on a downward path recently, but tensions with Syria caused oil prices to jump and in turn pushed gas prices up a few cents last week. Overall, though, they still remained about 20 to 25 cents less than last year's averages for the Labor Day weekend.

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.59, five cents more than last week. Florida's average of $3.56 increased six cents from last week, while Georgia's average of $3.52 rose six cents from last week. Tennessee's average of $3.39 also increased six cents from last week.

Last year, motorists paid an average of $3.83 nationwide for a gallon of regular gasoline throughout the Labor Day holiday. This year, a gallon of gas averaged $3.59 during the holiday weekend. Although concerns about the U.S. performing airstrikes against Syria caused oil prices to reach upwards of $112 a barrel last week, prices soon decreased after a lack of global support for attacks on the country.

"Since U.S. threats against Syria have eased and there are no major storms on the horizon, motorists should start to see gas prices retreat," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "Now begins the U.S. refinery switch from the summer to winter blend fuel, which typically means lower gas prices are on the way."

The cost for a barrel of oil closed last Friday at $107.65 on the NYMEX - $1.23 more than the week prior.

Visit AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report to find national, state, and local metro market retail gasoline prices.
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