Florida gasoline prices continue to rise

TAMPA, Fla. - - The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline remains unchanged from last week at $3.38 per gallon. Florida's average price of $3.48 increased 3 cents.

Although retail gasoline prices inched up last week, the price of a barrel of oil closed below $100 for the second week in a row. Oil prices fell after the U.S. Energy Department reported gasoline consumption dropped to 8 million barrels a day, the lowest level since 2001. U.S. stockpiles of gasoline increased 3.7 million barrels last week to 227 million--a 10-month high. Oil prices settled Friday at $98.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange--24 cents less than the week prior.

"The demand fundamentals remain weak both in the U.S. and abroad, a main factor keeping oil prices below $100," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokesperson, The Auto Club Group. "China's manufacturing numbers fell for a third month and Europe's debt issues continue to place bearish pressure on the market. Retail gas prices will likely remain relatively unchanged this week as demand remains below par."