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Gas prices in Tampa area fall 7 cents a gallon

Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 06:16 PM

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Gas prices in the Tampa Bay area continued to drop a bit, taking some sting off the traditional summer spike in driving costs.

A gallon of regular unleaded now averages $3.522 per gallon in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area, down about 7 cents from last week's average of $3.592, according to AAA Club South.

Statewide, regular unleaded now averages $3.604, down from $3.670 last week. That generally brings prices to where they were a month ago before a spike in prices that hinted of more pain this summer.

That drop in prices mirrors a drop in crude oil prices as investors keep struggling to sort out how much political, market and economic turmoil will upend the overall demand for fuel.

"Economic growth is not only slow in the U.S. but in Europe as well and is expected to keep oil prices below $90 a barrel throughout the remainder of the month," said Jessica Brady, spokesperson for AAA Auto Club South. 

Prices had spiked to about $3.90 per gallon in early May, but have eased back somewhat.

Some gas stations are slow to drop their prices when prices are so volatile, Brady said, but drivers should start seeing prices drop more this week as oil trades below $90.

rmullins@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7919 Twitter: @DailyDeadline

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