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Gas prices forecast to rise in the days ahead

A recent downward trend in the cost of a gallon of fuel may soon come to an end.
Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber
A customer pumps gas at a station in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Savings at the pump could soon be harder to come by for Florida drivers as experts predict climbing oil prices may translate to higher fuel costs.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gas statewide Monday is about $3.19, according to AAA. It's about 2 cents cheaper than a week ago and just under a dime from the month prior.

But this downward trend isn't expected to last.

"January gas prices are often driven down by lower fuel demand. Unfortunately, that downward trend at the pump may soon come to an end," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins wrote in a statement. 

He points to an increase in the price of oil, which climbed 5 percent last week to a new, seven-week high of $79.46 on Thursday. Investors are concerned about continued unrest in Kazakhstan and logistical problems in Libya that could lead to global fuel supply issues, according to AAA.

"Oil prices shot up last week and that could restore upward pressure in prices at the pump," Jenkins continued.

The latest price chart from GasBuddy, the popular crowd-sourced gas price tracker, shows prices generally have been on a downward trend across the Tampa Bay region after spiking in mid-November.

Credit: GasBuddy.com

GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis, Patrick De Haan, echoed the sentiment from AAA, indicating a little more pain at the pump for drivers not only in Florida but nationwide.

"Without improvement or stability in oil producing countries, we’re likely to continue to see upward pressure on oil prices," he said in a statement, in part.