TAMPA -- Pump prices are moving in a positive direction for motorists and are now below year-ago levels, according to a recent analysis.
In the Southeast, motorists are paying an average of 11 cents less than they did a year ago today.
The cost for a barrel of oil still holds strong at more than $100 as positive economic news in China and geopolitical tensions keep prices elevated.
However, retail gas prices look to be on a downward trend that could last into Labor Day weekend.
U.S. refinery output jumped as more refineries went back online and the increased gasoline supply has led to lower wholesale and retail prices. The nation’s gas stockpiles rose by 135,000 barrels in the first week of August to 224 million barrels, the most since 1990 according the Energy Information Administration.
"Motorists witnessed a lot of price volatility at the pump since the start of the year, but so far the national average has not surpassed its high of $3.79 on February 27,” said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for The Auto Club Group. "Although the year isn’t over, gas prices look like they’re starting to move on a downward trend that could continue into the upcoming holiday weekend, barring a significant storm or violence in the Mideast that disrupts supply.”
The cost for a barrel of oil closed last Friday at $105.97 on the NYMEX — 97 cents less than the week prior.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.56, 6 cents less than last week.
Florida’s average of $3.53 and Tennessee’s average of $3.34 both fell 5 cents from last week, while the average price of gas in Georgia fell 3 cents to $3.46.