Gas prices to rise in summer, but still stay low

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AAA said five Great Lakes and central states "saw some of the country's most significant gas price increases in the past seven days", according to a report issued Monday.

But prices at the pump will still remain below levels of just a few years ago.

NY state's average gas price on Sunday was 3.5 cents higher than a month ago and 28, .8 cents higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy. Average prices for regular rose by a nickel or more in a majority of states. The New York state average is up five cents from last week at $2.48 per gallon. While the price of gas has since rebounded, it is still cheaper compared to 2008 when a gas crisis pushed the average price of gas above $4 per gallon. Georgia, though, has seen just the ninth-highest spike in gas prices as Kentucky, Michigan, Florida and in all were double digits. Meanwhile, refineries are getting rid of excess winter-blend gasoline as they continue to push summer blend fuel into the market, which is more expensive to produce. Combined with still-rising crude oil prices, US drivers are paying more at the pump and probably will be for several weeks. Chicago-area gas prices went up 10 cents to $2.64 per gallon.

AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said spring usually brings an increase in driving, which corresponds to an increase in gas prices.

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The average in Waterloo-Cedar Falls is $2.31 per gallon, up 2 cents from one week ago, and 34 cents from one year ago. The average on April 7 is $3.135, up 1.4 cents in one week, the AAA says.

This time a year ago, the area average was $2.01.

"While the continued increases are completely seasonal in nature, it's not any easier for motorists to digest", DeHaan added. Crude oil futures rallied following last week's US missile strike against a Syrian air base amid concerns that further unrest could lead to oil supply disruptions. The increased tax will likely also hit consumers with higher food prices if California's booming agricultural industry decides to pass along the increases. SC continued to offer the nation's lowest gasoline prices, averaging $2.10 per gallon. Prices will only become volatile if "something large disrupts the flow of oil somewhere and oil prices and thus gas prices rise proportionally".

Crude oil prices climbed above $50 a barrel last week for the first time in three weeks.

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