Gas prices continue to rise

BALTIMORE -  

Just days ahead of the official start of spring gas prices are at the highest point ever for this time of year and continue to climb toward the $4.00 per gallon mark this week, a trend expected to continue into the spring.

The national average price for regular grade gasoline stabilized somewhat this week, reaching $3.83 per gallon Friday, up 7 cents in the last week. Prices remain 31 cents higher than month ago prices, 28 cents higher than a year ago and within 28 cents of the all-time record high of $4.11 per gallon set in July 2008.

In Maryland the average price for regular gas is slightly higher than the national average, at $3.87, up 9 cents in the last week.

March madness is likely to continue at the pumps in the coming weeks and well into spring, as analysts continue to believe gas prices will peak as high as $4.25 nationally before retreating. The gas price peak could come as soon as late-April or early-May, depending primarily on what develops in the crude oil market. Analysts continue to emphasize that once gas prices do peak, they shouldn't stay at such levels for very long. In fact, many believe prices will retreat throughout the second half of the year

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