For the second consecutive day, the average price of regular-grade, self-serve gasoline in San Diego County remains at $4.624. 

It is the ninth time in the last 10 days that it's changed by one-tenth of a cent or been unchanged. The U.S. price of gasoline is up by a penny to $3.40 per gallon. 

The prices at the pump may increase due to the rising cost of crude oil, according to industry analyst, Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey. 

Gas prices at the pump increased by 95 cents compared to last year. 

According to a 2022 forecast released by GasBuddy, a company that closely tracks gas prices around the country, the nationwide average is predicted to reach $4 a gallon by spring. The company says the increased spike is due to continued economic recovery amid the current omicron spike, which will continue to drive demand for gas up in the first half of 2022.

“While Americans are likely to see higher prices in 2022, it’s a sign that the economy continues to recover from COVID-19. The higher prices go, the stronger the economy is. No one would love to see $4 per gallon gasoline, but we’ll only get there on the back of a very strong economy, so it’s not necessarily bad news,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “There remains higher uncertainty than in a non-Covid year, but all signs point to gas prices remaining elevated next year until the high prices attract additional oil supply, which will help prices cool off as we end 2022.”

According to the American Automotive Association and Oil Price Information Service, the average price is four-tenths of a cent less than one week ago, but six-tenths of a cent more than one month ago and $1.261 higher than one year ago.

The county saw the average price rise to $4.67 on Nov.28, which is the highest seen since Oct.12, 2012. The current average price has dropped 4.6 cents since it's last recorded peak. 

An increase in prices is expected to come along with the traditional “spring spike” season which brings increases averaging 50 cents a gallon, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager.

“Given the lack of relief in pump prices due to continued high oil prices, it's increasingly likely that Southern California gas prices will reach new record highs sometime in the next few months,'' Spring said.

In regards to diesel, the Lundberg Survey reports the average price at $3.70, up 6 cents.

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