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U.S. Pump Prices May Continue Rising in Weeks Ahead, AAA Says

Gasoline pump prices in the U.S. have jumped 49 cents since December, a record increase for the period, and may rise further, AAA the biggest U.S. motoring organization, said today.

AAA said refinery seasonal maintenance will continue to pressure gasoline prices. The largest U.S. motoring club expects prices to peak at a lower level this year although they may peak earlier in 2013.

“Gas prices increased at a dramatically faster pace than expected in February,” Avery Ash, an AAA spokesman in Washington, said in a statement. “There is a lot of uncertainty on where gas prices will go over the next few weeks, but hopefully the worst of the price spikes are behind us for now.”

The national average for regular gasoline at the pump today is $3.782, the highest-ever level for this time of year. February’s average of $3.65 was a record and 10 cents above the previous record set in February 2013.

Prices are 6.6 cents above a year ago. The 2012 high was $3.936 a gallon on April 4.

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