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Gas Prises Rise a Half Cent

March 26, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Gasoline prices edged up a mere half a cent in the past two weeks, and the increases may be coming to an end, an industry analyst said Saturday.

The average retail price of all grades of gasoline, including taxes, was about $1.59 per gallon as of Friday, an increase of only a half cent from March 10, according to the Lundberg Survey of 10,000 stations nationwide.

Crude oil prices are down, which affects all petroleum products, analyst Trilby Lundberg said. But she warned that when demand for gas increases rises, prices usually do, too.

``This could be the end or just a lull in the price hikes,″ she said. ``Spring and summer demand for gasoline could be an up factor for the price of gasoline apart from the prices for crude oil.″

While the nationwide average cost of gas rose half a penny, there are starkly different regional trends. For example, ``Prices are down more than 6 cents in the Midwest but up nearly a dime in the West,″ Lundberg said.

Prices at self-service stations averaged nearly $1.55 for regular unleaded gasoline, $1.64 for mid-grade and $1.75 for premium.

Full-service prices were about $1.84 for regular, $1.93 for mid-grade and $2.01 for premium.

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