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AAA: Falling stockpiles leads to gasoline price spike

By Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — After falling for the better part of two months, pump prices shot up sharply over the past week, particularly in Florida and Palm Beach County.

A sharp decline in U.S. stockpiles of crude pushed up prices as investors interpreted the smaller reserves as a sign of a strengthening economy that would increase demand for energy. However, that started to reverse with Friday’s U.S. jobs report.

The national average for a gallon of regular rose to $3.641 from $3.579 a week ago, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Monday. A month ago, regular averaged $3.713.

In Florida, regular averaged $3.587 a gallon, up from $3.47 the week before. A month ago, regular averaged $3.601.

According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, regular in Palm Beach County averages $3.728, up from $3.625 a week ago. Palm Beach typically has the highest prices in Florida, but this week that honor went to Miami, where AAA has regular at $3.734 a gallon.

"Although optimism at the start of the month pushed oil and retail gas prices higher, the negative economic news will likely cause oil prices to lose any gains made last week,” said Jessica Brady, a spokesperson for AAA Auto Club South. "Consumers will see an increase in gas prices this week as a result of crude oil closing higher than the previous week, but the increases should be short lived."

Crude oil fell $1.05 Monday to settle at $95.15 a barrel on the New York Stock Exchange.

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JULY 11, 2011 click to go home
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