Gas prices creep up right before the holidays

If you've been to the pump lately, you may have noticed a sudden increase in the average retail price of gasoline in Columbia.

According to GasBuddy, the price of fuel has risen 9.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.08/g.

This compares with the national average that has not moved in the last week to $3.24/g, according to gasoline price

"With just hours to go before Christmas, it appears that the national average may set a new all-time record high, barely edging out 2011 as the most expensive average for gasoline on Christmas Day," said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

Including the change in gas prices in Columbia during the past week, prices yesterday were 7.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 6.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 19.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 1.3 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"The bad news likely won't stop there- gasoline prices in six out of the last seven years have increased between Christmas Day and January 15 of the following year. If the national average rises to at least $3.26/gal before New Year's Day it will mark the highest start for gas prices ever on the first day of the year," DeHaan said.

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