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Lower gas prices seen as 12-cent drop hits pumps in past week

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Service station gas pumps

With spring break in the rearview mirror, the cost of gasoline in Florida dropped an average of 12 cents a gallon over the past week despite increased global pressure on oil prices.

An average gallon of regular unleaded cost $3.46 on Monday in Florida, down from $3.58 a week earlier, according to the AAA auto club. That bucked higher prices nationally, driven by increased domestic consumer demand and rising oil prices on global markets.

“Renewed Ukrainian attacks on Russia’s oil infrastructure and increasing tension in the Middle East spiked oil prices recently,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a statement. “And with the cost of oil accounting for roughly 60 percent of what we pay at the pump, there will likely be some upward pressure on prices.”

The national average price Monday was $3.60 a gallon, up 6 cents from a week earlier.

Florida’s average price Monday was the same as a month ago and 12 cents lower than a year ago. Parts of the Panhandle had the state’s lowest average prices Monday, including $3.26 a gallon in the Panama City area.

By contrast, the average was $3.68 a gallon in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area, according to AAA.