Gas prices trending higher


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Elevated demand and seasonal refinery maintenance kept upward pressure on the price of gasoline last week. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline rose 2 cents from last week, while average prices jumped 7 cents in Florida and 1-cent in Georgia.

"For the first time in recent memory year-over-year discounts are below the $1 per gallon benchmark, largely because gas prices began falling this time last year," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. "Consumers are saving 93 cents per gallon versus this same date last year. Gas prices could remain volatile as refinery maintenance season continues, which leaves supplies tightened while gasoline demand remains high. The good news for motorists is that prices are still forecast to slip back toward $2 a gallon by the end of the year."

The national average price of gas has fallen in October for three years in a row. Gas prices typically drop in October due to a seasonal decline in both driving and fuel demand. Driving is expected to remain relatively strong because of low gas prices.

Total U.S. driving topped 1.82 trillion miles during the first seven months of the year, beating the previous record of 1.77 trillion set during the first seven months of 2007, according to the latest estimates by the Federal Highway Administration. Even though driving should decline from summertime highs through the end of the year based on typical seasonal trends, 2015 could go down as the busiest driving year of all time.

Oil prices moved higher last week due to geopolitical tensions and a weakening dollar. Russia has increased its presence and engagement in Syria causing unrest and turmoil in the region which could disrupt and/or limit supply. The US dollar weakening is also reported to be underpinning the rally.

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