Government boosts forecast for pump prices, area prices highest since October


The government is boosting its forecast for gasoline prices this year following an 11 percent increase since the middle of December. The move comes at a time when area gas prices are at their highest since October.

Pump prices should average $3.55 a gallon in 2013, according to the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department. That’s up 11 cents from EIA’s forecast in January and would be the second-highest annual average ever, after last year’s $3.63 a gallon.

The national average was $3.61 on Monday, the EIA says. It was $3.25 on Dec. 17.

The EIA primarily pins the increase on higher oil prices. Brent crude, the benchmark for many international varieties of oil imported to the U.S., rose $10 a barrel from mid-December to early February. That equates to about 24 cents per gallon of gas, the EIA says.

The average price of regular-grade gas stood Tuesday morning at $3.72 per gallon, according to DaytonGasPrices.com, a web-based service that uses spotters to track area gas prices. That’s up 5 cents from Monday’s average price and 50 cents from a month ago, according to the website.

The last time the average price of gas was this high was in early October.

The national average of as Tuesday morning was $3.57 a gallon.


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