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    Gas Prices Expected to Reach Labor Day Record

    AAA predicts the price will be 20 percent higher than the five-year Labor Day average.

    NATIONAL REPORT -- Drivers have one less thing to celebrate over the Labor Day holiday.

    Several experts claim gasoline should reach its highest-ever price on Labor Day, which marks the unofficial end to the summer.

    Although that's certainly bad news for motorists, there's more bad news behind it. According to fuel experts, consumers will need to wait longer than usual to witness the annual gas price decline.

    "Generally speaking, retail gasoline prices tend to taper off in late August as individuals start to exit the summer vacation driving season and return to their regular driving habits," Kevin Mahn, president and chief investment officer of Hennion & Walsh Asset Management, told Marketwatch. "This August, this does not appear to be the case."

    Yesterday, the average U.S. price for a regular gallon of gasoline stood at $3.718, reported AAA in its Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That compares to an average price of $3.572 at the same time last year and $3.477 just one month ago.

    "Barring any significant market-moving developments, we would expect gas prices for Labor Day 2012 to be slightly higher or nearly the same as today," Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA, said on Aug. 22, when prices average $3.716.

    Green added that if his prediction is correct, this year's Labor Day average gas price will be about 20 percent higher than its five-year average and 40 percent higher than its 10-year average.

    As for why gas prices have risen so sharply recently, experts cite refinery and pipeline disruptions, drought conditions in the Midwest that forced the price of ethanol to increase and geopolitical factors as reasons.

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