(WASHINGTON) — Drivers are shocked to see that gas prices are up once again. The average price for a gallon of gas has increased 25 cents in just two weeks, and the Energy Department says Americans are paying $3.61 a gallon on average.
Some analysts expect the increases to continue and say the higher prices are not so unusual. What drivers and analysts did not expect was the timing of these higher prices. Oil analyst Thom Kloza with the Oil Price Information Service says these prices are, “generally the kind of increases that we typically see in March and April and May, but they’re occurring earlier this year and they’re occurring earlier largely because financial traders are probably anticipating what’s going to occur.”
Typically at this time of year refineries shut down for maintenance, and Kloza says the trading community anticipated that and priced oil accordingly.
“There’s a lot of money, a lot of investment money that’s pushed crude oil prices higher and it’s pushed wholesale and retail prices to the highest numbers we’ve ever seen for this time of year,” he says.
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Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN