Motorists across the country are paying more for gasoline than they have in nearly six months according to AAA. In September, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded peaked at $3.59. Sunday, the average price was $3.52.
"Prices usually peak in the spring," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA â" The Auto Club Group. "It would not be a surprise to see a continued upward trend throughout the next 30 days."
In Spring 2011, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded peaked in May at $3.98. The peak price was $3.94 in April 2012 and $3.78 in February 2013. Historically, prices in March have risen 22 cents in 2011 and 19 cents in 2012. Last year, prices fell 13 cents throughout the month after an unusual February peak.
Typical spring factors are to blame for the price hike including seasonal maintenance and the fuel blend switch. Rising demand also becomes a factor with Spring Break and daylight savings time, which offers motorists an extra hour to run errands.
The price of oil was influenced by factors including a report from the International Energy Agency which calls for higher than expected global oil demand, based on economic growth. The market is also nervous as the U.S. and European Union are threatening sanctions against Russia.
Sunday's national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.52, 3 cents more than last week. Florida's average of $3.54 rose 8 cents from last week. Georgia's average of $3.34 rose 2 cents, while Tennessee's average of $3.27 jumped 5 cents from last week.