An average U.S. monthly jump of 47 cents a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline is the biggest in nearly four years, and much earlier than usual, AAA says.
Market analysts are betting that gasoline prices in the United States may remain in the grips of an early season spike, an oil analyst said.
American motorists will pay quite a bit less to fill their tanks in the coming weeks, national gasoline price watchers say.
Gasoline prices in California skyrocketed to more than $4.50 a gallon as wholesale prices shot to all-time highs this week, officials said.
AAA said the national average price of gasoline was $3.83 per gallon Saturday, a decline from Friday, but still a record high for a Labor Day weekend.
Pipeline closures in the Midwest and production shortfalls because of Tropical Storm Isaac in the Gulf of Mexico are affecting gasoline prices, analysts said.
American gasoline prices could drop below $3 a gallon by this fall, some energy speculators say.
Except for the West Coast, U.S. motorists can expect more relief at gas pumps heading into the peak summer driving season, forecasters said.
The price of gasoline may have begun a seasonal decline that has very little to do with politics despite the attention it gets from politicians, experts say.