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Gas prices surge as economy shows growth

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Nam Y. Huh/AP/File

(Read caption) Samir Shabo fills up his tank at a Mobil gas station in Chicago. Gas prices are climbing as rising economic growth boosts oil prices.

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Gas prices soared 18 cents to $3.54 since last week, making it the largest one-week increase in average US gas prices since February 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration

The jump isn't entirely unexpected. Prices tend to rise during the switch from winter-blend gas to the more expensive summer-blend gas. Refineries temporarily slow production to sell off the winter blend gas and undergo maintenance during the transition. That raises wholesale prices, and, in turn, the prices at the pump.

Anticipating those rising costs, investors pour money into oil and gas futures, betting on higher price outcomes.

"It’s almost a certainty that whatever the price is on Groundhog Day, the price on St. Patrick's Day is going to be significantly higher," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

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