Prices at the pump in the Charlotte region and beyond continue to rise even as market experts still believe they are nearing a seasonal high. Prices have now reached their highest level of the year.
As of early Tuesday, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas in the Charlotte metro area is $2.646, up about 5 cents from last week but still about 93 cents less than it was a year ago, according to auto group AAA.
Statewide, the average price of gas is $2.686 a gallon, up about 5 cents from a week ago but still about 89 cents lower than a year ago. The national average price is $2.803 a gallon, about 6 cents higher than a week ago and 86 cents cheaper than this time last year.
South Carolina has the cheapest gas in the country at $2.494 a gallon.
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In a report Monday, AAA notes that although prices are rising, drivers in 45 states are now saving at least 75 cents a gallon compared with this time last year. Completion of seasonal maintenance at refineries, along with an oversupply of crude oil, should help keep prices relatively low, AAA said.
The nationwide spike in prices over the last week was unexpected, AAA said, and was due to a decline in gasoline stocks caused by high fuel demand and persistent refinery problems, which limits gas production.