Gas prices in the Tampa Bay area stayed perfectly flat from last week as markets balanced the worry over potential storm damage from Hurricane Irene with relatively upbeat economic forecasts last week.
A gallon of regular unleaded now averages $3.475 per gallon, compared to exactly that price last week and down from $3.645 a month ago.
Statewide, a gallon now averages $3.569 per gallon, compared to $3.563 a week ago, and $3.719 a month ago.
Gas prices could creep up a few pennies per gallon leading into the Labor Day weekend, said AAA Auto Club South Spokeswoman Jessica Brady, and many refineries along the East Coast had shut down in anticipation of the storm.
"Although Hurricane Irene has not significantly impacted the price of crude oil, the damage left behind could cause prices to rise later in the week," Brady said. "So far, reports speculate Irene's impact is less severe than initially expected, but if refineries are forced to shutdown for repairs it could mean an increase in oil and gas prices."