Lundberg: Gasoline Prices Continue to Rise

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Lundberg: Gasoline Prices Continue to Rise

NEW YORK -- The U.S. average retail gasoline price continued to edge up as oil prices rose and demand increased, according to a Reuters report of the latest nationwide Lundberg survey of gas prices.

The average national price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was $1.9625 a gallon March 6, up 1.82 cents per gallon in the past two weeks, Lundberg reported.

The average price increased approximately 30 cents from a recent bottom on Dec. 19, but is still $2.15 below the all-time high of $4.1124 per gallon set last July. The current average gas price is down $1.23 from the same period last year.

Demand fell sharply after last summer, when high prices drove consumers from the pumps. But a sharp price drop from July to December is beginning to bring motorists back, survey editor Trilby Lundberg said in an interview with Reuters. Demand for gasoline increased 1 percent in the first two months of 2009, compared with the same period last year.

Gasoline prices also were fueled by a rise in crude oil prices in the last two weeks.

"Those two conditions are likely to be extended toward the spring season," Lundberg said, adding gasoline prices could climb between 5 and 25 cents in coming weeks.