BALTIMORE - Earlier this month gas prices were falling at about 1-cent per day and were expected to continue their decline through the autumn and early winter months.
However, over the past two weeks prices at the pump have shifted gears, rising at the rate of about 1-cent per day or even more in some areas. In the last week, the national average for regular grade gasoline rose 3 cents to $3.47 Friday, yet prices are 10 cents below month ago prices. Prices remain 64 cents higher than year ago prices, yet 64 cents below the all-time high of $4.11 per gallon set in July 2008.
Maryland did not escape the rise in prices. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas across the state is $3.41. That's two cents more than last week. In Baltimore, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.39, also up two cents from last week.
"For the second straight week, motorists continue to feel price hikes at the pumps," said Ragina C. Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "Economic fears, nationally and internationally, have fueled the recent rise in crude oil prices, which ultimately leads to gas price increases. Gas prices could buck typical downward seasonal trends with an autumn and early winter upswing, rather than previously forecast declines."
Motorists will likely continue to feel the pinch at the pump in the week ahead, barring any unforeseen circumstance that would tumble crude oil prices or affect demand, as gas prices continue to inch upward. As crude oil tests the $85 to $90 per barrel range, gas prices will likely break through the $3.50 per gallon mark in the coming week and potentially beyond.