Expect gas prices to keep rising, AAA says

Motorists have probably noticed a recent rise in price at the pumps, and experts say the climb could continue into April.

Gasoline prices are 13 cents higher than at this time last year.

“Although there are a few factors that could cause oil prices to stabilize this week, it’s likely gas prices will increase,” AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady said. “So far, market trends and price fluctuations at the pump have been similar to 2011 and 2012, leading analysts to believe prices will peak in April before they retreat.”

According to AAA, experts said prices always climb this time of year as a result of the switch to summer fuel blends and refinery maintenance, but several factors are causing a more dramatic increase, including the severe snowstorm in the Northeast and continued concerns over Iran’s nuclear efforts.

A barrel of oil closed Friday at $95.86 on the New York Mercantile Exchange – 14 cents higher than the previous week.

The national average price of regular unleaded is $3.71, 13 cents more than last week. Georgia’s average of $3.64 is a 17-cent increase. South Carolina’s average of $3.53 is a 19-cent increase.

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