Boats, beaches, bays and cheap fuel.
While Panama City, Florida may be more widely known as a popular beach destination, its exceptionally low fuel prices aren’t exactly hurting its image either.
On the 4th of July, prices for regular gas had dropped to $3.99 a gallon at popular fuel stations while diesel fell below $5 a gallon.
And prices have been dropping ever since drawing in plenty of motorists who are willing to wait in line for some of the nation’s cheapest fuel.
According to fuel price website Gas Buddy, a Chevron gas station in Panama City was selling regular gas for $3.77 a gallon Wednesday and diesel for $5.09.
Murhpy’s, located a few miles north in nearby Lynn Haven, had the cheapest diesel in the area at $4.79 a gallon while regular gas sold for $3.75.
Membership-based Sam’s Club was selling regular for $3.72 and diesel for $5.19. At least ten gas stations in Panama City and the surrounding area were selling regular below $3.80 a gallon. However, prices in Panama City Beach, just west of Panama City, were noticeably higher. A drive along Back Beach Road Wednesday afternoon showed prices for regular well above $4 a gallon.
The average price for regular in the state was $4.36 on Wednesday according to AAA, while diesel came in at $5.48. The national average for regular was $4.63.
GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan couldn’t account for those low fuel prices in Panama City which currently rank as the lowest in the state according to stateofflorida.com.
“Could just be that you have a very aggressive level of competition,” De Haan said. “Glad to see it. Not all areas are going down as quick. That also means stations are making less margin, which means if there's any jump in wholesale prices, you could feel it first and more significantly.”
Though June’s consumer price index inflation numbers were above expectations at 9.1%, the highest in over 40 years, GasBuddy pointed to declining fuel prices which have been dropping for four straight weeks. However, De Haan advised caution in assuming that prices will continue to fall.
“All trends are temporary, things are constantly changing,” De Haan said. “Having said that at present, I could see the decline in the national average lasting another week or two perhaps. It could go further, but with so many high-level factors changing quickly, beyond the next two or so weeks is clear as mud.”