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    On the Rise

    Gas prices jump 9 cents over two days.

    CAMARILLO, Calif. -- Gasoline prices saw their biggest increase in nearly a year during the last two weeks, said analyst Trilby Lundberg.

    The average price per gallon for all grades and taxes was nearly $1.24, up 8.77 cents per gallon from Feb. 22, according to the Lundberg survey of 8,000 convenience stores nationwide.

    Prices had been hovering around $1.14 a gallon since the beginning of the year until the latest spike, which Lundberg attributed mostly to rising crude oil prices. Another factor was maintenance work performed at some refineries to prepare for the springtime rise in demand, she said.

    "It does seem likely that prices will [continue to] increase," Lundberg said. Whether the increases will be moderate or major depends largely on whether tensions rise in the Middle East, she added.

    The average price was nearly 25 cents lower than pump prices one year ago, and prices remain far less than they were before the September terrorist attacks. The average price was $1.56 per gallon Sept. 7, and fell to just under $1.12 in December.

    The national average price of gasoline, including taxes, at self-serve pumps Friday was about $1.20 per gallon for regular, $1.30 for mid-grade and $1.39 for premium.

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