|TAMPA - The price of a gallon of gas dropped again last week and the rate of decrease is expected to slow in the weeks ahead. Oil prices also rose again as economic news fueled market optimism and the value of the dollar slid against the euro.
Last week, the value of the dollar fell against the euro and increased buying power for foreign investors, thus pushing oil prices higher. In addition, the Labor Department reported first-time unemployment claims fell by 10,000 when they were projected to increase. This bolstered optimism of a demand rebound in the coming weeks.
"Gas prices slid again this week, but the rate of decrease is expected to slow as we approach spring—a time when demand starts to pick up. If prices do fall this week, the decrease will likely be minimal, otherwise prices should remain stable and below year-ago levels,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group.
A barrel of oil closed Friday at $93.45 on the New York Mercantile Exchange — $1.50 more than the week prior.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.69, 1 cent less than last week. Florida’s average of $3.73 fell 4 cents and Tennessee’s average of $3.50 decreased 3 cents. Georgia’s average of $3.59 fell 5 cents from last week, respectively. Visit AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report to find national, state, and local metro market retail gasoline prices.