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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 17 cents in the past week to $3.52, 22 cents higher than one month ago and 5 cents higher than the national average price one year ago. The average was the highest on record for the calendar day Feb. 4, and has set a new daily record for five days in a row, according to the latest AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
The 17-cent increase is the most dramatic one-week spike in nearly two years and the 20th-largest weekly increase of the 21st century. This is primarily due to higher crude oil prices and the "rubber-banding" of midcontinent retail gasoline prices, which dropped to very low levels at the end of 2012 and are now rising, stated AAA.
The national average gasoline price was mostly unchanged for the first 17 days of 2013, but then increased for the next 18 days straight, jumping 23 cents. This marks the longest streak since prices rose 21 consecutive days last summer, from July 28 to August 18.
California, Colorado and the Midwest saw the sharpest price increases at the pump. Eleven states have posted price increases of more than 30 cents, with several paying at least 40 cents more than a month ago: Indiana (47 cents), Minnesota (46 cents) and Michigan (44 cents). Higher regional crude prices and production concerns as refineries prepare the upcoming conversion to summer-blend gasoline caused these regional price jumps, according to the report.
Highest overall average prices are currently found in California, with an average of $3.91 per gallon, as well as the Northeast, with an average price of $3.87 per gallon in New York and $3.85 per gallon in Connecticut. Wyoming has the cheapest average price at $2.94 per gallon, followed by Montana at $3.04 per gallon.