Gas prices up 7 cents in Tampa but relief in sight
TAMPA - Gas prices have inched up another seven cents in Tampa Bay, though some relief could be in sight. Regular unleaded now averages $3.890 in Tampa Bay, up from $3.839 a week ago, and $3.714 a month ago. Statewide, prices are a bit higher, at $3.925 for regular unleaded, compared to $3.887 a week ago, and $3.742 a month ago. The Oil Price Information Service counted no less than eight stations in Tampa Bay charging more than $4 for customers using credit cards.Gas prices could take a break from that relentless march upwards this spring: The price of oil and other commodities hit a wall and fell sharply last week, dropping from as high as $113 per barrel for some types of crude to less than $100. Helping explain the price change are conflicting views of how the U.S. economy is improving, the death of Osama bin Laden, and new jobs reports showing more people than expected were hired this spring. Stockpiles of gasoline grew by more than 3.4 million barrels last week as demand tapers off, signaling the price of gas was having a measurable impact on the economic recovery. And the U.S. dollar advanced in value against other world currencies, helping push the price of oil lower."The oil market moved in favor of consumers this week and actually responded to the basic fundamentals of supply and demand," said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club South. "Despite the sharp decline in oil prices, gas prices will be slow to drop early in the week, but if the dollar maintains its value, keeping the price of oil below $100, by the end of the week consumers could start to see a more significant reduction in pump prices." Contact Richard Mullins at (813) 259-7919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DailyDeadline. Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly how many cents per gallon gas prices rose this week in Tampa Bay.