With crude oil prices on the rise, gas prices jumped up across Florida over the past week.
AAA released a study on Monday showing the average gallon of gas in Florida cost $2.53 on Sunday. A week before, averages stood at $2.40 per gallon in the Sunshine State. While gas prices in Florida held steady over the weekend, some markets saw dramatic increases over the past week with prices going up 25 cents per gallon in the Tampa market, 20 cents in Orlando and 19 cents in Punta Gorda.
Even with prices on the rise in Florida, they remain below the national averages which stood at $2.56 per gallon over the weekend.
The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market had the most expensive gas in the Sunshine State with prices averaging $2.64 per gallon on Sunday followed by Miami and Homosassa Springs where gas cost $2.59 per gallon.
Pensacola had the least expensive gas in Florida on Sunday with prices averaging $2.46 per gallon followed by Tallahassee at $2.48 and Jacksonville at $2.49 per gallon.
Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group, pointed to crude oil prices which reached a two year high and have increased almost $6 per barrel in the past two weeks.
"Our usual autumn pump price plunge was interrupted by rising oil prices,"Jenkins said. "Fortunately, oil prices let off the throttle last week, allowing gas prices to find what appears to be solid ground. However, motorists should expect gas prices to linger at their current levels this week.
"Analysts warn that oil prices could be somewhat volatile this week, as the consolidation of power in Saudi Arabia leaves speculators questioning the impacts on global oil supply," Jenkins continued. "Fortunately, domestic oil supply and production made solid gains. If that becomes a trend, oil prices could drift lower and take gasoline prices with them.
"Increasing crude oil prices almost always lead to higher prices at the pump," Jenkins added. "Expensive crude makes it more costly for refineries to produce gasoline, and that price is typically passed along to the consumer. Fortunately, oil prices backed off a bit last week, which pulled the plug on the gas price hike."
On the national level, gas prices have fluctuated from a high of $2.67 per gallon in September to a low of $2.23 per gallon in July. In Florida, the highest average price was in September when the state was impacted by hurricanes and gas stood at $2.73 per gallon. The lowest average in Florida was in July when prices stood at $2.13 per gallon.