The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the U.S. average for a gallon of unleaded regular is $2.058, up a hefty 5.7 cents from last week and just 0.8 of a cent shy of the $2.064 nominal record EIA posted last May 24.
That figure is considered "nominal" because it remains far below -- on an inflation-adjusted basis -- the absolute record set in 1980. Gasoline would have to hit $2.973 for an inflation-adjusted record.
Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service says a nationwide average of "$2.15 to $2.20 is a virtual certainty" this month. He foresees a plateau, then a summer peak of $2.25 to $2.50, USA Today reported Tuesday.