gas_pump.jpgBay Area gas prices have increased by 10 cents in the last month amid optimism in a rejuvenated economy, according to AAA of Northern California.

Analysts believe the rising price of gasoline across the country is attributed to fluctuations in the strength of the U.S. dollar, which continue to impact prices on a daily basis.

The average price in the Bay Area for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $3.14.

San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland all saw an increase in prices, with San Francisco jumping by 12 cents for an average of $3.16, San Jose increasing by 14 cents for an average of $3.06, and Oakland increasing by 12 cents for an average of $3.10.

Fremont and Santa Cruz boast the least expensive average at $3.03, with Salinas following close behind with an average price of $3.04.

The statewide average price is $3.07, an increase of 11 cents in the last month and the third highest among all 50 states. In Northern California, the average is also $3.07, up 13 cents from last month.

The increase in oil and retail gas prices is due to fluctuations in the strength of the U.S. dollar. Analysts also attribute the increase to seasonal factors such as refineries preparing to switch to summer blended fuels and investors depending on more people traveling on the road as the weather improves, thereby driving up demand for fuel.

AAA spokesman Matt Skryja said for now, “Demand remains quite soft, which is helping to keep gas and oil prices from drifting dramatically higher.”

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