Gas prices rising at a record pace (video)

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JAY GRAY

Temperatures aren’t the only thing climbing this summer. Gas prices are rising at a record pace and some believe the national average could jump to $3 a gallon during vacation season.

The price of crude oil has doubled in the last four months. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is almost $2.70, up 16-percent in the last month and more than 60-percent since the first of the year.

If it feels like gas prices are going up every day it’s because they are. Monday was the 48th day in a row that fuel prices jumped, a record string for this decade.

“This just adds insult to injuries to an economy that’s still struggling and consumer balance sheets that are still extremely fragile,” noted Mesirow Financial’s Diane Swonk.

Analysts say the U.S. oil refineries are running about seven percent below normal for this time of year, due mostly to a low demand for fuel.

The refiners are working at reduced levels to try and maximize their profits during the summer driving season.

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