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Winter weather; summer prices

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Consumers are seeing fuel costs more in line with summer, than in the dead of winter, as retail gas prices in Columbus shot upward over the weekend to a four-and-a-half month high.

According to a daily survey by the AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express, the average price in central Ohio was $3.83 Monday morning, 13 cents higher than on Friday, and 26 cents higher than a week ago.

Today also marked the 32nd day in a row in which the average nationwide price at the pump has gone up, the longest streak since last February and March.

The report says the national average for a gallon of regular is hovering around $3.73 a gallon, up more than 15 cents from last week.

“Since mid-January the national price at the pump has been propelled higher mostly by regional refinery issues and the approaching switchover to summer-blend gasoline,” AAA public relations manager Michael Green said.

Without a “risk premium” — built into futures prices when tensions in oil-producing regions threaten supply — Green expects that “the increases will slow as the temporary production concerns are addressed.”

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