Fresh Pain At The Pump

, Posted in U.S. & World News, Economy, Posted: Tue, February 19 2013 at 11:46 AM, Updated: Tue, February 19 2013 at 12:12 PM

Gas prices have gone up every day for the past month.

While the national average is now $3.73 a gallon, some areas of the country have seen prices climb 70 cents since mid-January.

Analysts say the recent spike is based partially on increased international demand from nations like China, combined with reduced domestic production here at home.

Some American refineries are going off-line to switch over to a summer blend while two refineries, one in New Jersey and another in Hawaii, are about to shut down permanently.

Prices are also being pushed up by OPEC's decision to scale back output, claiming there is already too much oil saturating the market.

At this point, experts don't think the national average will rise above $5 a gallon this summer.

They are even saying there may be some relief on the way as crude oil prices are being weighed down by the threat of a European recession.

Analysts also say a weakening dollar and lowered interest rates in the United States are allowing traders to buy more crude oil, speculating that while demand is flat now it will rise again as the summer travel season approaches.

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