Gas prices drop despite demand increase

Gas prices in Alachua County averaged between $3.67 and $3.71 over the last week. (Shutterstock)

The national average for a gallon of regular gas fell 10 cents in the past week to $3.95, according to AAA, due mostly to stable oil prices and less driver demand. 

“Falling pump prices may eventually lead to more drivers hitting the road again,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement. “But that hasn’t happened yet. Instead, many drivers are waiting for prices to fall further before reverting to their typical driving habits.” 

According to gasbuddy.com, the cheapest gas in Gainesville is $3.39 at the Sunoco at 4221 E. University Ave. Other relatively low prices in the area include:  

  • $3.49 at Sam’s Club, 4400 SW 33rd Pl., Gainesville 
  • $3.51 at Marathon, 24252 W Newberry Rd., Newberry 
  • $3.53 at Murphy Express, 6323 NW 13th St., Gainesville 
  • $3.55 at Circle K, 4565 NW 13th St., Gainesville 
  • $3.57 at Wawa, 2305 NW 13th St., Gainesville 

In a recent survey, AAA found that almost two-thirds of U.S. adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March. Drivers’ top two changes to offset high gas prices include driving less and combining errands. 

Graphic comparing the four-year trends of national gas prices as of Aug. 15
Courtesy of AAA Four-year trends of national gas prices as of Aug. 15

According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose last week, but it remains at a lower rate than last year. Also, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 5 million barrels.  

But, although gasoline demand has risen and supplies have tightened, easing oil prices have helped lower pump prices.  

As of Monday, the national average of $3.95 is 62 cents less than a month ago, but 77 cents more than a year ago.  

Florida saw one of the largest price decreases last week, 13 cents, to an average per-gallon cost of $3.64—higher currently than many stations in Gainesville. Florida has the 17th-lowest average gas price in the United States.  

 Although crude prices declined at the end of last week due to concerns that an economic slowdown could cause crude demand to stagnate or decline, prices rose earlier in the week after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a smaller than expected increase in inflation last month (8.5 percent). The rise in market optimism helped to boost prices despite EIA reporting that total domestic crude supply increased. 

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Maine (−19 cents), Colorado (−18 cents), West Virginia (−16 cents), Arizona (−15 cents), Illinois (−15 cents), New Mexico (−14 cents), Florida (−13 cents), Nebraska (−13 cents), Arkansas (−13 cents) and Kansas (−13 cents). 

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Texas ($3.45), Arkansas ($3.47), Tennessee ($3.50), Oklahoma ($3.50), South Carolina ($3.50), Georgia ($3.51), Mississippi ($3.52), Kansas ($3.53), Missouri ($3.53) and Alabama ($3.54). 

Map of average gas prices per county in Florida from Aug. 15
Courtesy of AAA Average gas prices in Alachua County are above the Florida statewide average of $3.64.
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