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Gas Prices Increase, Future Hikes Likely

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Average retail gasoline prices in Tennessee have risen 4.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.66/g yesterday.

This compares with the national average that has increased 5.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.85/g, according to gasoline price website TennesseeGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Tennessee during the past week, prices yesterday were 14.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 0.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 6.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 20.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"Last week we saw oil prices surpass $87 per barrel after the Federal Reserve announced a $600 billion injection into the U.S. economy, causing the U.S. dollar to lose value, thereby pressuring oil and gasoline prices higher," says Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst.

DeHaan says that in addition to the Fed's actions, a Department of Energy report indicated another drop in U.S. supplies against rising demand. DeHaan also noted that areas of the Midwest were affected by a fire at a Chicago area refinery, sending pump prices in some of those areas above $3/gallon for the first time in 25 months.

"With oil prices breaking out of their well established $75-$85/barrel range, I'm quite concerned we could see prices trade in a higher range, perhaps $85-$95/barrel for several months, signaling higher gasoline prices in the future," DeHaan adds.
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