Gas prices are highest ever for this time of year

10:38 AM, Feb 20, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis (AP/KSDK) - Gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year.

At $3.53 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say they could reach a record $4.25 by late April.

In St. Louis, the average for a regular gallon jumped to $3.48 on Monday, a 6 cent increase from a week ago. That's up nearly two quarters year-over-year.

The surge in gas prices follows an increase in the price of oil. Higher gas prices could hurt consumer spending and curtail the recent improvement in the economy.

A 25-cent jump in gasoline prices, if sustained over a year, would cost the economy about $35 billion. Economists say it's a meaningful amount, especially at a time when growth is only so-so.

AP/KSDK

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