Changes in political and economic conditions on the other side of the world are being felt here as the national average price for regular retail gasoline increased last week for the first time in three months.
“Although oil prices retreated at the end of last week, it’s likely motorists have seen the last of the summer price reductions at the pump,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group.
According to a report in the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, the national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.38, 5 cents more than last week.
The price of gas peaked the week of April 6, when the weekly average was $3.92, AAA reported. Prices then entered a downward trend until last week when motorists saw prices jump overnight. Bullish news hit the market at the start of the month and caused oil prices to spike, which has led to the rise at the pump.
The two main factors that pushed oil prices higher last week, AAA reported, were imposed European sanctions against Iran and an agreed-upon plan by European leaders to save the euro and resolve the ongoing debt crisis.
The European news, among other things, pushed oil prices to $88 a barrel last week, however the upward pressure soon dissipated after more pessimistic economic news was released. A barrel of oil settled Friday at $84.45 on the New York Mercantile Exchange — 51 cents less than the prior week.