The average cost for a gallon of gas dropped just as a record number of Floridians, 5.8 million by car, are expected to hit the road for the holidays.
Gas prices declined by 12 cents over the last week, a 41-cent drop in a month, according to the weekly briefing from AAA The Auto Club Group.
The average price across the Sunshine State landed at $3.16 a gallon, 11 cents more than the same time last year.
AAA officials liken to price drops over the last month to economic recession and its impact on global crude oil markets. That trend should continue to drive prices.
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“The price of crude plunged 29% in the past month; 11% of that happened last week,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins in his weekly briefing. “This should pave the way for additional discounts at the pump this week. Unless fundamentals change, the state average could easily sink below $3 a gallon before Christmas Day.”
Nationwide, 90% of holiday travelers will drive while air travel is expected to increase by 14%, with roughly 7.2 million people taking to the skies.
The single busiest travel day is likely to be December 27, according to INRIX, a company that provides travel analytics.
With holiday travel expected to ramp up over the next few weeks, consumers are focusing what available money they have on spending time with friends and family.
“Despite inflationary pressures, consumers remain resilient and dedicated to travel this year, and the holidays will be no different,” said AAA Vice President of Travel Debbie Haas. “Americans are spending more on travel than any other time in the past two years.”
Gas at a glance
- Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.39), Naples ($3.33), Gainesville ($3.32)
- Least expensive metro markets – Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($2.89), Pensacola ($2.92), Panama City ($2.92)
- Daily gas price averages can be found at Gspansprices.spanspanspan.com