EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


May 4, 2014

Steady rise in gas price worrisome

Gasoline prices continue to climb, and the increases are enough to make us worry.

Service-station monitoring by the auto club AAA shows that prices for self-service regular gasoline across Massachusetts and New Hampshire rose by more than 5 cents per gallon through the seven days ending Wednesday. If that rate of increase continues, the average price for self-service regular gas in Massachusetts could hit $3.75 per gallon early this week.

Last week was the third straight week in which regional gasoline prices stepped higher.

The overall U.S. average price for self-service regular also rose last week, AAA reported. It was the 10th consecutive week in which the national average increased.

New Hampshire gasoline prices traditionally have remained below Massachusetts levels, AAA daily monitoring indicates. But a new gasoline tax enacted by the New Hampshire Legislature on April 23 will erase that advantage for the state. When the new gasoline tax begins on July 1, savings at the pumps for New Hampshire consumers will vanish.

But for now, the average price for self-service regular gasoline in New Hampshire is a little more than a nickel lower than the Massachusetts figure. On Wednesday, AAA published a New Hampshire state-wide average of $3.651 per gallon. That was 6.1 pennies higher than the prior Wednesday’s average of $3.590. What’s more, Wednesday’s Granite State average was 24.9 cents above the $3.402 state-wide average on the same day last year.

In Massachusetts last week, a 6-cent increase sent the average for self-service regular to $3.714 on Wednesday, compared to $3.654 seven days earlier, according to the auto club. Wednesday’s Massachusetts average was 24.2 cents above the $3.472 reported on the same day last year.

AAA compiled a U.S. 50-state average of $3.691 on Wednesday, 1.8 cents higher than the prior Wednesday’s $3.673. On the same day of 2013, the national average of $3.508 was 18.3 cents below Wednesday’s figure.

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