Transportation

Gas prices in Sacramento region, state- and nationwide expected to rise after long retreat

Traffic drives past a Little Rock, Ark., Valero station advertising $1.95 regular gas Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Retail prices are expected to rise in concert with the increasing price of crude oil.
Traffic drives past a Little Rock, Ark., Valero station advertising $1.95 regular gas Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Retail prices are expected to rise in concert with the increasing price of crude oil. Associated Press

The sustained drop in the cost of gasoline likely has ended, with prices locally, in California and across the U.S. expected to start rising again.

GasBuddy.com, which surveys more than 700 local gasoline outlets daily, said the average retail price of gasoline in the Sacramento area on Sunday was $2.36 a gallon, up a penny from Saturday but down from $2.41 the week before.

Gas in the area was going for $2.59 a month ago and $3.44 a gallon one year ago.

The national average on Sunday was $2.03 a gallon, down from $2.06 last week, $2.32 last month and $3.28 last year.

Even so, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said he believes the weeks-long plunge in pump prices may be nearing an end.

“Gasoline prices have nearly caught up with the drop in crude oil prices,” he said, adding that the latest slowing of crude oil’s decline might be “a sign that perhaps we’ve seen a bottom in oil prices, and perhaps ... gasoline prices as well.”

Rising wholesale prices are prompting industry analyst Trilby Lundberg to predict an increase in prices that reached the lowest mark in more than five years nationwide, The Associated Press reports.

Lundberg says rising costs of crude oil the past 10 days should eventually be seen at the pump.

San Francisco continued to have the highest-priced gas in the Lower 48 states at $2.54 a gallon. Albuquerque, New Mexico, remained lowest at $1.73 a gallon.

Lundberg says prices at the pump are $1.24 lower than this time last year.

The average price in California was $2.43 a gallon.

The average national price for midgrade gas is $2.31. For premium, it’s $2.47.

Information from a report by The Associated Press is included in this story.

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