TAMPA, FL (WALB) - Gas prices rose throughout the week, but stabilized during the weekend, as 34 million Americans plan a road trip for Memorial Day - the second-most auto travelers for the holiday on record.
"Gas prices rose an average of six cents last week, but Memorial Day travelers should still enjoy the lowest holiday gas prices since 2005," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Gasoline demand continues to test record levels, and a repeat of last year's higher-than-normal summer driving season is likely on the horizon. The balance between regional supply and demand will influence the price at the pump; however, the market remains well supplied and the relatively lower cost of crude oil should keep summer prices lower than last year."
Gas prices reached their lowest point of the year in February. Since that time, the average price rose 58 cents nationwide, 47 cents in Florida, 58 cents in Georgia, and 62 cents in Tennessee. Gas prices usually rise 50-70 cents from February to June. Average prices peaked in June last year at $2.80 nationally, $2.72 in Florida and Georgia, and $2.58 in Tennessee. Prices will likely peak around the same time this year, unless there are sizable shifts in crude oil prices.
Since hitting 13-year lows at $26.05 in February, crude oil prices are up 80 percent. The price of crude averaged $47.03 last week, $1.59 higher than the week before, and the highest since October 9, 2015.
Daily closing prices for WTI oil rose from $42.72 on Monday to $48.31 Tuesday, but dropped to $47.75 on Friday. Oil prices rose last week as wildfires in the Alberta region disrupted production, but production is expected to resume this week, which could push prices lower.