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Gasoline prices shoot back up; more increases to come

Nam Y. Huh

Gasoline prices in Florida have risen to their highest price in five weeks, partly because more people are expected to travel this summer.

The average price for regular hit $4.17 in the Jacksonville area Sunday, according to the AAA auto club. The price was up from $4.06 a month ago and $2.84 last year.

Statewide, gas averaged $4.20 a gallon, up 2 cents from last week. The most expensive gas in the state was in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, at $4.39. Pensacola and Punta Gorda were the cheapest at $4.11.

On average, Florida drivers are paying $63 to fill an average-sized tank of gas. That's $20 more than this time last year, AAA said.

Analysts blamed price increases on the rising price of oil as well as gasoline futures markets.

Oil prices rose last week after the European Union announced plans to phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year. But those increases paled compared with the rise in gasoline futures, which soared to a record high.

Gas futures were up because gas supplies are declining and investors expect Americans to travel more this year than last year, AAA said.