U.S. gasoline prices climb

July 15, 2013 at 7:43 AM

WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States increased 4 percent in the last week, AAA said Monday.

AAA reported the average retail price was $3.61 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Monday, compared with an average price of $3.47 reported a week ago.

Energy analysts say high demand for gasoline in July, lower fuel inventories and geopolitical factors in the Middle East are pushing oil prices higher, meaning more pain at the pump for consumers.

Oil prices in July topped the $100 per barrel mark for the first time in nearly a year.

The Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi from power in early July, sparking concerns about the political stability in the post-revolutionary climate of the oil-rich Middle East. Concerns about the health of the global economy, meanwhile, were fueled by a slowdown in China.

The U.S. Energy Department had said it expected expects a seasonal average price of $3.53 per gallon.

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