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Massachusetts Gas Prices Inch Up A Penny

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File Image (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

File Image (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts gas prices have inched up a penny, the fourth consecutive week of higher prices.

AAA Southern New England reports Monday that self-serve, regular crept up to an average of $3.75 per gallon, a nickel above the national average.

While gas prices are up yet again, the damage isn’t as bad as it has been.

“We are looking at gasoline prices up in Massachusetts for the fourth straight week,”  said Mary Maguire of AAA Southern New England, “but the good news, the silver lining to that cloud is that we’re up only a penny this week over last, and we had been looking at increases of six cents in the previous two weeks.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Fausto Menard spoke to AAA’s Mary Maguire:

That silver lining may not last long, however.  Maguire added that what she called a “rally” in oil prices Monday morning could be a result of an agreement being reached in the debt crisis.

“I think that when we see, for example, pressure on the stock market to rise, those factors are all related to trading in oil as well, so already we’ve seen a bump up in oil futures,” she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Fausto Menard.  “And we had been looking at oil settling at the lowest level in two weeks on Friday, which I think contributed to that very modest one cent increase up to $3.75 a gallon in Mass.  So certainly if we see a surge today in crude prices, we’ll have to see what happens the rest of the week, but that could certainly push up prices at the pump again.”

The current price is $1.09 higher than at the same time last year.

“I think everyone is more cognizant of the fact that its costing a lot more to make that stop at the gas station, so people are perhaps cutting back in other areas to compensate for that” Maguire said.

AAA found self-serve, regular in Massachusetts as low as $3.59 per gallon and as high as $3.99.  It’s a range Maguire calls “very healthy.”

“Those low prices are out there, folks,” she said.  “Shop for them. It helps keep prices lower for all of us.”

While current Massachusetts gas prices are 5 cents above the national average, they’re still lower than in neighboring states Rhode Island and Connecticut.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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