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Petroleum Prices Soar to 30-Month High

Good news about U.S. jobs pushes pump prices higher.

by on Apr.04, 2011

Oil prices are at a 30-month high -- and consumers are feeling the pinch.

Is the tank half empty or half full?  The good news is that the U.S. job market is showing strong signs of recovery.  The bad news is that American motorists will be paying more for gas as a result.

The prospects of a strong U.S. economy leading to increased demand for oil is only complicating the impact of the crisis in Libya, helping drive petroleum prices to around $108 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, this morning.  Traders saw prices for low-sulfur Ice Brent Cruise near the $120 mark, both 30-month highs.

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For motorists, that’s translating into pain at the pump, much of the country now paying more than at any time since September 2008. And with spring finally reaching much of the U.S., the figures could continue climbing.

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded paid for in cash is now $3.64, according to the AAA.  That’s up 7 cents in just a week.  But some markets have seen significantly bigger increases.  The AAA Michigan reports fuel costs rose 15 cents over the last week, to $3.75 a gallon.