LAWRENCEVILLE - Gas prices in Georgia rose Monday for the 45th straight day, with prices now up nearly two-thirds since the beginning of the year even as demand from motorists remains weak.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in Georgia was $2.51, said Gregg Laskoski, spokesman for AAA Auto Club South.
While the cost of gasoline has been steadily climbing since the beginning of May, Laskoski said prices at the pump may hit a peak as early as late June or early July. In most markets, the cost is expected to rise to between $2.80 and $2.90 a gallon.
"Three dollars a gallon is a possibility, but I still think we would have to say it's a long shot," Laskoski said.
Lawrenceville resident Nicole Pride, who commutes to midtown Atlanta every day, said she's noticed the increase in prices.
"It stinks," she said. "It's concerning me a little, but we're still better than we were (a year ago). I kind of feel weird complaining about it, but at the same time, I don't want it to keep going up."
The oil prices that influence what you pay at the pump are taking a breather from a three-month rally, with benchmark crude for July delivery falling $1.42 to settle at $70.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude prices have fallen nearly 3 percent over the past two trading days.
Crude's upward track for most of the year has been mirrored by the declining value of the dollar. That's because crude futures are bought and sold in U.S. currency. Crude gets cheaper for many buyers as the dollar falls.
A lot of money has entered the oil market in recent months for that reason and, as would be expected, crude prices fell for the second straight trading day Monday as the dollar rebounded.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 200 points Monday, which also may have pressured oil prices.
Nationally, prices at the pump rose 0.6 cents to $2.669 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Services. Prices are a nickel above where they were a week ago and 30.8 cents above month-ago levels, but remain $1.408 below year ago levels.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.