According to the latest Fuel Price Brief from AAA South,. gas prices dipped last week below 2011 levels. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.81, a decline of 5-cents from a week ago.
The Florida average is $3.80 per gallon, 8-cents cheaper than one week ago.
AAA spokesperson Jessica Brady says the decline in gas prices was spurred by lower demand domestically and abroad. China's economy is slowing and the European debt crisis continues to lower demand.
"Since the start of the year, 2012 broke daily, weekly, and monthly records for the highest price averages at the pump, but now the tables have turned and prices are below last year's level," said Brady. "This is welcomed news to motorists who heard rumors of $5 to $8 a gallon gasoline by summertime. While there's always the possibility prices will climb back up, in the short term, gas prices are expected to decrease further as we enter May. If gas prices do continue to fall throughout the month of May, we could definitely see an increase in the number of Americans traveling for the Memorial Day holiday weekend."
Gas prices have been on the decline since April 17, when the national average hit $3.90 per gallon.
The price at the pump continues to slide despite another increase in oil prices. Crude oil closed Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $104.93 per barrel, an increase of $1.05.