A barrel of oil settled Friday at $94.26 on the New York Mercantile Exchange--94 cents more than the week prior. European leaders and the G-20 failed to come to agreements to resolve Europe's debt issues last week, putting downward pressure on oil prices. However, a small rally took place in the market after the U.S. Labor Department reported the unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent in October from 9.1 percent in September.
The Labor Department also reported a gain of 80,000 payrolls last month, although fewer than forecast, the data was taken as a positive sign the economy is slowly bouncing back from the economic downturn. While leaders were positive an agreement could be met to end the European debt crisis, in the end, they failed to agree on a plan and further discussions are expected to take place this week.
"Oil prices are stuck between an uncertain future for Europe's financial system and glimmers of hope for an economic recovery in the U.S.," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokesperson, The Auto Club Group. "Despite the slight increase in oil prices and the market's bullish sentiment, retail gas prices have actually decreased throught the past couple of weeks. Reports from the Department of Energy show stagnant fuel demand numbers and weekly gasoline deliveries are 4 percent behind last years numbers. Unless oil prices make significant gains this week, consumers may find minimal changes in prices at the pump."
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.41 per gallon, 3 cents less than last week. Florida’s average price of $3.39 also fell 3 cents from last week. Georgia’s average price of $3.32 dropped 5 cents from last week and Tennessee’s average price of $3.23 fell 4 cents, respectively.
Current and past gas prices: National: