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Gasoline Prices Keep Rising

U.S. gasoline prices climbed 3 more cents per gallon in the past two weeks because of high crude oil prices, tight capacity and rising demand, an analyst said Sunday.

The nationwide average for all gasoline grades, including taxes, was nearly $1.86 per gallon on Friday, up 3.07 cents from April 9, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations nationwide.

The average price "has broken all-time record highs for two months straight," analyst Trilby Lundberg said. However, when adjusted for inflation, she said, it remained about $1 a gallon lower than the peak of March 1981.

Since Dec. 19, the average gas price has risen 34.55 cents, she said.

The latest increase was prompted by crude oil prices topping $36 per barrel coupled with OPEC production cuts and a growth in crude oil demand, chiefly in the United States and China, Lundberg said.

"Gasoline demand is growing dramatically, even at these prices, and it will have a seasonal growth as we head into the warmer months," Lundberg told CBS Radio News. "This, coupled with tight refining capacity, suggests that gasoline prices cannot fall any time soon, or at least not much, unless crude oil prices fall, and near term, that does not seem likely."

The national weighted average price of gasoline, including taxes, at self-serve pumps Friday was about $1.83 for regular, $1.92 for mid-grade and $2.01 for premium.

"San Diego remains the city with the highest self-serve regular average, which is now $2.17, and Tulsa has the lowest average at $1.66," Lundberg said.