If gas prices are on the rise, we must be getting close to spring break.
Mark Jenkins at AAA South in Tampa says gas prices across Florida have kept relatively stable the past week. But he doesn’t expect that to continue much longer, because of factors that are putting pressure on oil prices. “Gulf Coast refineries’ maintenance continues, the demand for gasoline typically picks up during the spring,” said Jenkins. “And of course, the situation over in Ukraine.” The auto club reports self-serve regular in Pensacola averages $3.37 a gallon – three cents less than last week, but seven cents more than a month ago. Gas prices, according to AAA, are likely to peak at around $3.75 per gallon, and average around $3.39 for all of 2014. UWF economist Rick Harper says the good news for Florida is that the economy as a whole has been on the rebound. Florida’s economy is divided into seasonal economies depending on the time of year. Spring break, says Harper, is enormous this time of year downstate and in Panama City. Pensacola’s turn comes a bit later, from roughly Memorial Day until the start of school in August. And before you do hit the road for that spring break destination, AAA has a couple of fuel-saving tips: avoid speeding and other aggressive driving, and use cruise control and overdrive. Other measures include following the posted speed limit. Jenkins says you can assume that every five miles per hour driven over 50 miles an hour – is like paying an additional $0.24 for a gallon of gas. More information can be found at www.aaa.org