Despite holiday, gas prices continue to fall

The demand for gasoline was the biggest in years for travelers trying to take the road to their Christmas destinations. Yet, where the classic system of supply and demand would’ve typically meant higher gas prices — they were, instead, lower.

In fact, motorists saw the cheapest gasoline for Christmas since 2008, where Florida drivers saw an average price of $2.43. That broke lows set in 2009, AAA said, when gas was $2.63 in the state.

“Low gas prices are helping consumers save more than $21 for a tank of gasoline compared to the highs earlier this year, and that has a positive effect on holiday shopping and travel,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said, in a release. That high was $3.70.

“The new year will bring new expectations for even cheaper gasoline. Prices could drop another 3 to 6 cents by New Year’s Day.”

The national average dropped for a 94th consecutive day Sunday, the longest streak on record. The previous record of 86 days of drops came during the height of the Great Recession. Since that streak began, gas has fallen 92 cents in Florida.

“The world’s oil supply continues to outpace demand keeping downward pressure on oil and gas prices,” Jenkins said. “Speculators believe this trend will continue next year, so cheap gasoline should stick around for a while.”

Crude prices settled at $54.73 at the close of trading on Friday, down $1.79 from the previous week. The average price for a barrel of oil is expected to be $63 this coming year, according to the Energy Information Administration, down $12 over the last three months of 2014.

Florida is down 8 cents from a week ago, and 39 cents from a month ago. It’s off by 98 cents from a year ago.

Cheapest prices locally, according to GasBuddy, include:

• $2.10 at the Citgo at U.S. 41 and Crenshaw Lake Road in Lutz
• $2.13 at Sam’s Club on State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel
• $2.21 at both the D&D station at U.S. 98 and U.S. 301, and Clark at U.S. 301 near Long Avenue in Dade City
• $2.27 at the RaceTrac on State Road 52 near Silver Palm Boulevard in Land O’ Lakes
• $2.29 at the Marathon on Eiland Boulevard and Geiger Road in Zephyrhills

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