Pain at the pump gets worse - East Valley Tribune: Business

Pain at the pump gets worse

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Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 2:17 pm

Fuel prices spiked again in the last week, with East Valley drivers paying close to 6 cents more, according to AAA Arizona.

Prices in the East Valley jumped 5.9 cents to an average $3.503 per gallon. Statewide, drivers are paying an average $3.942. Nationwide, the average fuel price climbed 3.5 cents to $3.523 per gallon.

The national fuel average has surpassed the $3.50 per gallon mark in record time, and recent history suggests that when prices cross that threshold they tend to stay there for some time, according to AAA Arizona.

When the all-time record was reached in 2008, the $3.50 mark wasn't breached until April 21 and stayed there for 138 consecutive days. Last year, fuel prices didn't eclipse $3.50 per gallon until March 8 and lingered at or above that price point for 203 consecutive days.

"In the record-setting year of 2008, Arizona's fuel price average spent 93 days at or above $3.50 per gallon from May to September," said Linda Gorman, spokeswoman for AAA Arizona. "The fact that the state's average is just a penny shy from this price point so early on signals higher prices this summer, and possibly throughout the year."

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