Video: Pump prices pressured

updated 1/12/2004 2:56:09 PM ET 2004-01-12T19:56:09

After four weeks of stability or decline, retail gasoline prices surged more than seven cents per gallon in the past three weeks, an industry analyst said Sunday.

The price for all three grades combined was $1.58 on Friday, up 7.1 cents since Dec. 19, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations nationwide.

Several factors were responsible, including rising crude oil prices, a weaker U.S. dollar, colder weather that drove up demand for home heating oil and two U.S. gasoline reformulations, said analyst Trilby Lundberg.

In the same period, retail diesel prices increased 3.3 cents per gallon, to $1.63. It was the first significant increase since early October and reflected recent demand for heating oil, Lundberg said.

Further price increases were likely, but it was impossible to predict how much they would rise, Lundberg said.

The all-grades retail average price of gasoline was 8 cents higher than it was this time last year, and 2.5 cents below the average price for 2003.

The national weighted average price of gasoline, including taxes, at self-serve pumps Friday was about $1.55 for regular, $1.65 for midgrade, and $1.74 for premium.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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