Since the beginning of November, Florida’s gas prices have jumped 29 cents, including another double-digit increase in the past week.
Florida’s average gas price rose by 12 cents in the last week, bringing the price at the pump to $3.56 a gallon, according to the weekly briefing from AAA The Auto Club Group.
Gas prices in Palm Beach County sit at $3.70 a gallon, about 15 cents higher than a month ago. The county, as usual, has the highest gas prices in the state, eight cents higher than the next-most-expensive market, Gainesville.
The increases should end in the next week, however, as oil prices have declined over the past week.
“It appears that Florida gas prices have now fully adjusted to a recent oil price hike and the reinstatement of the state’s gas tax,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. ”Oil and wholesale gasoline prices took a step back last week, which should cause gas prices to plateau.”
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Gov. Ron DeSantis and state lawmakers instituted a month-long reprieve of the state’s per-gallon tax on gasoline in October. Unfortunately, the 25.3-cent break on each gallon of gas likely was less obvious to drivers, thanks in part to the sharp rise in oil prices at the start of the month.
Despite higher gas prices, Floridians will still be driving over Thanksgiving
Although gas prices are up, about 9 in 10 Floridians traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday will drive, according to AAA. These drivers will be paying about 20 cents more per gallon than at the same time last year. The record-highest average cost of gas on Thanksgiving was set at $3.46 per gallon in 2013.
What drivers will spend in gas costs will be offset by cheaper hotel stays or spending less on food and shopping, Jenkins said. Still, travel in Florida for Thanksgiving this year is anticipated to surpass pre-pandemic levels by 22,000 people.
The day before and the day of Thanksgiving, drivers should expect roads in the early morning or late evening to be the least congested.
Wholesale inflation rises 8%, fourth straight decline and another good sign
Prices at the wholesale level rose 8% in October from a year ago, the fourth straight decline and the latest sign that inflation pressures in the United States are easing from painfully high levels. Most of the monthly increase reflected higher gas prices at the wholesale level, which rose 5.7% just in October.
The annual figure is down from 8.4% in September. On a monthly basis, the government said Tuesday that its producer price index, which measures costs before they reach consumers, rose 0.2% in October from September. That was the same as in the previous month.
The figures came in lower than economists expected and make it more likely that the Federal Reserve will increase its benchmark interest rate in smaller increments. It has hiked its short-term rate by three-quarters of a point for four meetings in a row, but economists now increasingly foresee an increase of a half-point at its December meeting.
“The improvement in the October inflation data, if it persists, supports the Fed’s expectation of a step down in the pace of increases going forward,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, a forecasting firm.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core producer prices were unchanged in October from September, the lowest reading in nearly two years.
The cost of services, such as hotels, air travel, and health care, slipped 0.1% in October from September, the first drop since November 2020. Also, the cost of new cars fell 1.5%, last month, which could lead to lower prices at the retail level as well.
The report follows last week’s better-known consumer price index, which showed that year-over-year inflation cooled to a slower-than-expected 7.7% in October, down from 8.2% in September.
Those consumer inflation figures sent stock markets soaring because they suggested that the devastating price spikes of the past 18 months might finally be moderating. The cost of used cars, clothing and furniture fell, a sign that goods prices are reversing their big price leaps of last year, when supply chain blockages sent inflation soaring.
In recent months, delays at major ports have been cleared, the price of ocean shipping has tumbled and more stores are building larger stockpiles. All those trends suggest that goods prices could continue to decline.
Palm Beach Post staff writer Hannah Morse and The Associated Press contributed to this story.