That didn't take long. After testing five-year lows near $2 per gallon recently, prices at the pump will rise through February, a new report said on Monday. However, increases will be slight and perhaps short-lived if crude oil supply continues to outstrip demand.
Data from the American Automobile Association (AAA) said average gas prices across the country have increased for the last seven days in a row and will likely will keep moving upward. That uptick comes after a record 123-day period of steady declines, the organization said.Fuel prices have dropped more than a dollar per gallon in a single year, from an average of $3.30 per gallon in January 2014 to $2.11 last month — the cheapest monthly average since April 2009.
The pending price jump results from refinery issues and more stable crude oil costs, according to the AAA. Refineries begin an annual "maintenance season" around this time of year, which typically cuts production and accounts for a slight bump in prices. This year, however, customers should expect pump prices to increase between 30–50 cents per gallon between early February and the middle of spring—slightly higher than the 22-cent average seasonal jump seen in the last five years.
-- Robert Ferris, CNBC.com