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Crude oil rises, but prices at the pump fall

The average price of regular unleaded gasoline decreased by 4 cents in Georgia and Florida, over the last week, according to a spokeswoman for AAA.

Jessica Brady said the average price is currently $3.36 a gallon in the Peach State, compared to last week's price of $3.40 a gallon. Florida's average price fell from $3.46 last week, to the current $3.42 a gallon, she said.

Tennessee's average gas price decreased 3 cents from the week before, and is currently at $3.27 a gallon, she explained. The national average price is at $3.44 a gallon, and only fell one cent, she said.

"Both oil and gas prices are expected to rise this week as demand for heating oil increases after the Northeast region of the U.S. was hit with its worst snowstorm [this season]," said Brady.

According to the National Weather Service's web site –– http://weather.gov –– the rare snowstorm occurred early for the fall season, and set record snowfall totals for October.

Brady said oil prices increased last week because of signs of optimism from European leaders related to a fix for the continent's debt crisis, coupled with the fact that the U.S. economy grew more than expected.

Brady explained that the nation's economy grew by 2.5 percent during the third quarter of the year, which topped the 1.3 percent increase in growth in the second quarter.

A barrel of oil, she added, increased to its highest level since July, and closed on Oct. 28 at $93.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is a $5.92 jump from the week before, she added.

Brady said the last time oil traded higher than $90 a barrel was on July 29. The average price of regular unleaded gasoline in the nation, at that time, was $3.83 a gallon, which is 39 cents more than the current average price, nationally.