By Jim Hagerty
As gas pump prices have already risen by almost 10 percent since the end of November, the worst isn’t over, analysts said last week.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel hovered around $3.15 last week, the highest in almost two years. While prices may remain steady through February and into March, drivers will likely see $3.25, $3.75 or $4 averages across the country.
The predictions are being attributed to crude oil spikes, which caused per-barrel tallies of more than $90 for the first time since 2008. Even winter trends—which traditionally result in cheaper gas—haven’t kept pump prices down.
As of this report, crude oil prices were about $98 per barrel.
According to AAA stats, last week’s averages are 12 cents more than gas prices a month ago and almost 40 cents higher than what drivers paid in January 2010. At the end of business Friday, Jan. 21, the highest local per-gallon price was $3.19, matching averages seen New Year’s Eve weekend. As of Sunday, Jan. 23, the average 84-hour average was between $2.84 and $3.
Illinois remains among states with the most expensive gasoline. Some of the cheapest are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
When prices increase by as little a penny, it costs American drivers about $4 million.