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Gas prices keep rising

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WASHINGTON — Average U.S. retail gasoline prices rose for a second week from a 2 1/2-year low, gaining 2.4 cents to $1.096 a gallon, a Department of Energy survey found.

Pump prices had fallen steadily since the end of the summer driving season, reaching a 2 1/2-year low of $1.059 two weeks ago, as gasoline declined because of the falling value of crude oil.

The price of regular self-serve gasoline still is 31 cents lower from a year ago, according to the survey of about 900 filling stations, and is down from a record $1.713 reached in May. The survey was for the week ended Monday.

Service station prices have rebounded recently along with futures prices for crude oil and wholesale gasoline as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to its fourth production cut in a year. The rally in oil prices sought by OPEC may fall flat, analysts said, unless the world economy grows at a faster pace and causes demand for oil to increase.

Crude oil on the New York Mercantile closed at $19.84 a barrel last week. Prices are up from a 2 1/2-year low of $16.70 on Nov. 19, though they're still down 26 percent on the year as a whole.

Regional gasoline pump prices were lowest in the Southeast, from Virginia to Florida, where a gallon of regular gasoline rose 3.1 cents to $1.034 a gallon. Prices were highest in the Midwest, where retail prices averaged $1.136, up 5 cents from a week earlier.