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High-water mark for U.S. gasoline reached

April 9, 2012 at 8:46 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- If gasoline prices in the United States haven't peaked, they should relatively soon, the president of a survey company said.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States reached $3.94 per gallon last week, the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said. That price was 2 cents more than the previous week and 25 cents more than the same time last year.

Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey Inc., told Bloomberg News that gasoline prices may have reached a high-water mark, however.

"Price hikes at the pump have been losing steam for weeks," said Lundberg. "Crude oil prices have slipped and if they don't rebound in the very near future, gasoline prices will peak very soon, if they haven't already."

Oil prices for 2012 increased in part because of geopolitical tensions with oil-rich Iran. In March, however, the EIA said fuel economy for U.S. vehicles was increasing and last week, U.S. crude oil inventories were reported to have reached historic highs.

Gasoline prices in the United States have become a political issue in the presidential campaign season.

Bloomberg reports that more than half of the analysts interviewed said oil prices would decline through April. Oil prices account for about 70 percent of the price of gasoline.

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