Triple-A tracking a four cent gas increase over northeast Ohio

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(WOIO) - Northeast Ohio motorists will pay 4.5 cents more this week for a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline at the pump. The current price is $2.738 a gallon.

According to AAA's Fuel Gauge, last week, oil broke through what has been an extremely elusive barrier, closing at $80.77 on the NYMEX on Friday. Monday, crude prices maintained the $80 mark, going as high as $81.76 before closing at $81.48, an increase of 78-cents.

Crude prices have not been this high since this past May and it is far from certain if this price level can be maintained. Recent economic news released on Friday continues to contribute to a feeling of unease in the strength of the US economic recovery and reinforce the school of thought that the recovery is shallow and the immediate economic forecast is less than robust.

The US Department of Labor reported last week that the economy suffered a net loss of 130,000 jobs in July with the unemployment rate continuing to hover at just under 10 percent. Another troubling sign is the loss of 5,600 jobs for temporary employees for July. Temporary jobs are viewed as a potential indicator of future hiring by businesses who generally fill these positions ahead of expanding their permanent staff.

Economic conditions are not the only factor to watch for price impacts. Last week, the National Weather Service reiterated its forecast that the likelihood exists for an above normal Atlantic storm season. The atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea are viewed as conducive to hurricane formation. This most recent update from the National Weather Service is consistent with their previous forecast in May of an 85 percent chance of an active storm season. This situation is one that bears watching as we enter the peak hurricane months between now and October.

The national average price for a gallon of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline is $2.781 up 5.5 cents from last week and 13.6 cents higher than a year ago.

This week's average prices: Northeast Ohio Average $2.738

Average price during the week of August 3, 2010 $2.693

Average price during the week of August 11, 2009 $2.614

The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.724      Alliance

$2.705      Ashland

$2.700      Ashtabula

$2.770      Aurora

$2.799      Chesterland

$2.726      Cleveland

$2.701      Elyria

$2.763      Independence

$2.704      Lorain

$2.771      Lyndhurst

$2.684      Massillon

$2.710      Mentor

$2.698      New Philadelphia

$2.748      Niles

$2.782      Norwalk

$2.756      Oberlin

$2.699      Parma

$2.744      Ravenna

$2.780      Solon

$2.799      Willard

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