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Gas Prices Jump 50 Cents In Sacramento Area

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The average price of a gallon of gas in Sacramento is up 50 cents from last month to $4.28, according to the latest fuel survey from AAA.

The state-wide average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $4.36, up 51 cents since last month’s AAA report on Feb. 14. For perspective, that’s 40 cents higher than California’s average price on this date last year. Among all 50 states, California has the second-highest state average price for gas behind only Hawaii.

Northern California gas prices are now averaging $4.33, up 50 cents from last month. In the Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $4.41, a 51-cent increase.

The national average price of $3.81 is up by 30 cents from a month ago and is 25 cents more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $3.56.

According to AAA, the biggest month-to-month price jump in Northern California metro areas tracked by the organization was in Salinas, which saw a 57-cent increase. Over the past month, the pump prices have jumped by at least 41 cents in every single Northern California metro area tracked by AAA.

“Investors’ buying activity continues to be the dominate influence that is pushing prices higher,” said AAA Insurance spokesperson Matt Skryja in a press release. “Recent positive economic indicators in the United States and Europe have inspired investors to buy more oil and gas futures, which has helped to push up the price of oil and gas.

“However, there may be some relief in sight. Just (Monday), concerns over a slowing economy in China and easing tensions with Iran helped pull down the price of oil.”

That downward pull follows a steady stream of influences that have been causing oil prices to rise. On Friday, reports surfaced that the European Union was nearing a positive resolution to the Greek sovereign debt crisis. When this news was combined with positive U.S. jobs numbers, it inspired investor buying activity and propelled the price of crude back toward its high for the year, AAA said.

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