standing gas pump

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island has escaped increases in gas cost over the past week despite a five-cent rise in the national average.

According to a survey released through AAA Northeast on Monday, a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline was averaging $2.55. The price, which remains unchanged from a week ago, bucks the national trend and is 19 cents lower than the national average of $2.74 per gallon.

“As demand holds steady and inventories continue to tighten, motorists continue to see gas prices increase or remain the same in every region,” said Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast. “Overall refinery utilization stands at 86 percent, compared to 93 percent last year at this time. Until refineries return to normal operations, which will take a few weeks, American motorists should expect prices to continue increasing as gasoline demand gains steam.”

A year ago at this time, the average price in Rhode Island was eight cents higher at $2.63.

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 35 cents, from a low of $2.44 to a high of $2.79.

— Jason Vallee

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