National average gas price is up 8 cents

National average gas price is up 8 cents The national average price of self-serve regular gasoline is $1.89 per gallon, up 7.8 cents since mid-January, AAA's daily, online Fuel Gauge Report (www.fuelgaugereport.com) shows.

Gasoline prices have remained at high levels as crude oil has traded between $45 and $50 since early January. The current nationwide gas price is just 16.4 cents per gallon short of the all-time record high price of $2.054 per gallon set May 26, 2004. This leaves little room to absorb the usual spring price increase without setting new records.

Nationwide, the price of self-serve, mid-grade averages $2.007 per gallon, an increase of 8.3 cents per gallon since last month, and 26.2 cents higher than one year ago. Self-serve premium averages $2.08 per gallon, up 8.6 cents since mid-January and 27.2 cents higher than one year ago.

The South Dakota average for self-serve regular gasoline is $1.923, up 11.2 cents over last month. In Rapid City the average has increased 8.5 cents to $1.909 per gallon. And in Sioux Falls, the average is at $1.924, which is 13.2 cents higher than a month ago.

The national average prices for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline for AAA's mid-February survey for the last five years are: 2004, $1.643; 2003, $1.645; 2002, $1.12; 2001, $1.492; and 2000, $1.367. The South Dakota average prices for the same time periods are: 2004, $1.6070; 2003, $1.6050; 2002, $1.1520; 2001, $1.5610; and 2000, $1.4035.

AAA's Fuel Gauge Report is based on data from Oil Price Information Service, the nation's most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information. AAA purchases the data and makes it available free on the Internet as a public service. Average daily prices for the nation, all 50 states and more than 250 localities are available for all grades of gasoline, making the site the most current and complete public source of fuel price information.

As the nation's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 47 million members (82,000) in South Dakota with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

AAA South Dakota can be visited on the Web at www.aaa.com.

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