Lowest gas prices since 2009

Pump prices continue to fall

By Bruce Hamilton - The Morning Show anchor

Bloomberg News brings us the latest in business, finance, and gas prices.

TAMPA, Fla. - Gas prices continue falling at a rate of a half cent a day, despite increases in the price of oil last week. Crude prices rose more than $3 last week, while the national average dropped 3 cents. Pump prices have fallen 25 out of the past 30 days. The current average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $1.80 nationwide, $1.83 in Florida, $1.73 in Georgia, and $1.61 in Tennessee. 

"Motorists enjoyed the lowest gas prices for the month of January since 2009, largely due to crude oil supply outpacing demand," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Retail averages should remain relatively low this year, barring any disruptions in supply. However, prices will likely begin to rise in February."

Average gas prices for the entire month of January were $1.91 nationwide, $1.93 in Florida, $1.82 in Georgia, $1.69 in Tennessee. During the 31-day period, prices fell 20 cents nationally, 17 cents in Florida and Georgia, and 14 cents in Tennessee. Compared to January 2015, the monthly average this year was down 20 cents nationally, 25 cents in Florida, and 26 cents in Georgia and Tennessee.  

"AAA continues to expect the 2016 average to be the lowest in more than a decade," Jenkins said. "However, prices are likely to increase in February, as refinery maintenance season gets underway, leading up to the changeover to the production of summer-blend fuel. During this time, refineries are not running at full capacity, so they are unable to put out as much gasoline into the market to meet demand."

During the past five years, gas prices during the month of February rose an average of 29 cents nationwide, 27 cents in Florida, and 26 cents in Georgia and Tennessee. In February 2015, gas prices averaged $2.23 nationwide, $2.28 in Florida, $2.16 in Georgia, and $2.07 in Tennessee.