Gas Prices Continue Upward Climb

PHOTO: A New York City taxi driver pumps gas at a BP mini-mart, in New York City in this MAr. 2, 2012 file photo.

Gas prices continued to tip upward, to an average price of $3.83 a gallon, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Monday.

This week's average price for regular gas rose 26 cents from a year ago, and was up four cents from last week.

This week's figure was the highest price ever recorded in March, beating last week's record of $3.79, according to data going back to 1990.

Many consumers are tired of paying more than $4 a gallon for weeks in some parts of the country, including Western states like California. The EIA reported the average weekly price for the West Coast region was $4.22 a gallon.

The results of the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll show the damaging political effects of rising gasoline prices, which have surpassed the federal budget deficit as Obama's single weakest issue.

Americans by a broad 65-26 percent disapprove of how the president is handling the price of gas. Strong critics outnumber strong approvers by nearly 4-1. And 89 percent are concerned about the recent run-up in gas prices; 66 percent are "very" concerned about it.

The price of oil futures settled at $107.40 a barrel on Friday for delivery in April, up from $106.70 from the previous week. Tension over Iran's nuclear program has led to concern over the country's oil supplies. Iran is OPEC's second-largest oil producer and the third-largest crude oil exporter in the world, according to the EIA.

A pre-emptive military strike by the U.S. or Israel on Iran's nuclear facilities would likely lead to global crude supply disruptions and a jump in oil prices, analysts predict.

But oil prices fell on Monday after China reported a slowdown in growth in imports and exports in its February trade data over the weekend, suggesting a weakening global economy, the Associated Press reported.

The Oil Price Information Service said the price of gasoline surged by nearly a nickel over the weekend to $3.80 per gallon, the highest ever for this time of year.

Brian Hamilton, CEO of Sageworks, a financial information company, said gas prices remain a risk for everyone, like businesses.

He said private companies pay a substantial amount in gasoline expense as a percentage of their income statement for production and travel.

"The economy is getting better, but high gas prices could depress the historical expansionary cycle down from its four-year life cycle," Hamilton said.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...