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Motorists to see continued rise in gas

McDONOUGH — Though at a pace slower than earlier this month, average gas prices continue to climb in Georgia and throughout the Southern Crescent area.

Nationally, prices are up nearly a nickel over the past week at $3.42 per gallon of regular unleaded gas, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. While the price of oil and retail gasoline increased from last week, gains at the pump were minimal compared to the initial spike motorists saw in the first week of July.

The Georgia rate remained below the national average at $3.28 per gallon for regular unleaded Wednesday, rising above the $3.26 per gallon average reported this time a month ago. According to atlantagasprices.com, locally, the Sam’s Club at 1765 Jonesboro Road near Exit 221 off Interstate 75 was at $3.25 for unleaded Wednesday. The BP at 166 Corinth Road near Highway 54 in Jonesboro was at $3.24.

Metropolitan Atlanta as a whole remains above the state’s average. The local average is $3.32 per gallon for regular unleaded gas.

“The market is still in a balancing act with slow economic growth and tensions with Iran keeping equal pressure on the market,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman for The Auto Club Group.

Brady said speculation China will make efforts to stimulate its slowing economy and tightened sanctions against Iran pushed the price of crude oil to settle Friday, July 13, at $87.10 a barrel — $2.65 more than the week prior.

The AAA spokeswoman said “retail gas prices are likely to inch up again this week, a trend motorists could see continue throughout the month,” though they are not likely to surpass last year’s average gas prices any time soon.

AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report indicates average gas prices nationally are about a quarter less, still, than they were this time in 2011. Throughout the state of Georgia, average prices are closer to 40 cents cheaper than a year ago; residents paid $3.28 per gallon of regular unleaded gas Wednesday, compared to $3.66 last year.