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    Gas Prices Reversing

    Buckle up, the roller coaster is going for another loop, some experts say.

    After a steady decline in gas prices over the last three months, prices leveled off and have recently began rising again, although experts disagree on prices for the long-term, USA Today reported.

    The nation's average for a gallon of gas is $2.21, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), up one cent from last week. This marks the first time the weekly numbers have risen since Aug. 7, when average prices peaked at $3.03 per gallon, according to the report.

    Across the nation, the prices were down in the West, but up in the Midwest and East, the EIA stated. Last week's average was $2.20, the lowest recorded this year.

    This increase isn't an indication that prices will begin soaring, according to Fred Rozell, gas price analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. Averages "may yet drop to about $2.10 per gallon nationally before the year is out," he told USA Today. Unless unexpected events occur, "I don’t think we'll see any major increases until at least late February or early March … Numbers will hold steady or bounce between a fairly narrow range for a few weeks."

    The EIA's latest fuel price outlook, published at the beginning of last month, does not confer with Rozell's predictions. Its quarter average estimates a price of $2.29 per gallon, rising about 5 cents from the current average of $2.24 this quarter.

    While a USA Today poll conducted in September found that 42 percent of Americans believe that the price of gasoline is manipulated by the White House in efforts to help Republicans to secure seats in the Nov. 7 elections, petroleum experts, such as Iraj Ershagi, the director of the petroleum engineering program at the University of Southern California, explained that seasonal factors ultimately affect prices. "Seasonal variation can be modeled very nicely and explain [prices] very nicely. … The message is: consumers can control the price if they cut consumption."

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