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Gas prices back on the rise, AAA says

Orlando still seeing some of least expensive prices in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – Gas prices are back on the rise after a brief plunge kicked off the new year, according to AAA. It was fun while it lasted, wasn't it?

The price of gas in Florida finally leveled out last week after it dropped 70 cents in 91 days, according to a report. 

[RELATED: Why lower gas prices are both good and bad for the economy]

The current price is still cheaper than what drivers had seen in a while before the most recent dip in prices, the report shows.

The average price of gas in Florida on Sunday was $2.13 per gallon, which is just fractions of a cent less than a week ago and 18 cents less than last month.

Drivers are still paying 32 cents less per gallon than this time last year and 79 cents than the peak price of gas in 2018, which was reached around Memorial Day, AAA says.

AAA officials said the oil market regaining strength is to blame for the rise in prices at the pump drivers are now seeing.

"The new year has breathed new life back into the oil market," said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. "Crude prices have slowly climbed since the beginning of the year, but remain well below the highs seen in 2018. The biggest increases came last week, after Saudi leaders pledged to do whatever it takes to rebalance the market."

Crude prices plunged from $75 to $43 per barrel at the end of last year, but have jumped back up to $50 per barrel, which raises the cost of producing gasoline, according to AAA officials.

Jenkins said the recent shift in oil prices isn't enough to cause sticker shock at the pump, but said drivers could see an increase of anywhere from 5-10 cents as a result.

Here's a look at prices across the state, according to AAA:

  • Most expensive gas price averages: Panama City ($2.45), West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.34), Miami ($2.31) 
  • Least expensive gas price averages: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ($2.00), Melbourne-Titusville ($2.00), Orlando ($2.01) 

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