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Gas prices are down in Florida, but could rebound with Idalia

A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Miami. U.S consumers have so far defied higher prices for gas, food, and rent and have been spending more in 2022, providing crucial support to the economy. How long that can continue will be one of the key factors affecting the economy and inflation this year. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Marta Lavandier
A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Miami.

Gasoline prices went down in Florida last week. But that could change amid increased demand as the Gulf Coast braces for a powerful hurricane and as the state addresses a fuel-contamination problem in some areas.

With what is expected to become Hurricane Idalia headed toward the Gulf Coast, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released a list late Sunday of 29 stations — mostly in the Tampa region and Southwest Florida — that likely received contaminated gas supplied by Citgo. The contamination was caused by “human error” at the Port of Tampa, according to the department.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded Monday in Florida was $3.70, down 11 cents from a week earlier. The national average price Monday was $3.82, down a nickel from a week earlier.

“Although the national average did a U-turn this week, the road ahead could lead to higher prices,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a prepared statement. “Ongoing concerns regarding potential storm activity could hinder falling pump prices this fall.”

Data from the Energy Information Administration showed demand for gas jumped 0.7% last week, which was offset by a slight increase in the overall domestic gasoline stock.

Meanwhile, trading in oil continues to hover around $80 a barrel, a price that could go lower as concerns about an economic slowdown in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, could push global demand down.

Florida’s average price Monday was 2 cents higher than a month ago and 9 cents higher than a year ago.

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