Gas prices climbing before the new year

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Gas prices have started climbing before the start of the new year, leading to more consumer headaches.

AAA officials say that aside from the slight increase in pump prices from last week, 2012's annual average is a record-breaking year. So far, 2012's average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.61, 10 cents more than the annual average in 2011. Price trends were also off from the norm this year, with gas prices peaking in April and hitting bottom during the first week of July.

"Gas prices are doing exactly what was expected, closing out the year on an upswing," said AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady. "Motorists could very likely see pump prices increase into mid January before starting to retreat again. This year, much like 2011, was a volatile year for both oil and gas prices with some unexpected trends. Next year could be very similar in terms of volatility and unconventional trends."

(Gas prices courtesy of AAA)