The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Inland Empire rose to its high point for the year today for a second consecutive day, increasing 1.6 cents to $3.176.
A 2.5-cent increase Saturday put the price past its previous high mark for 2010, $3.149, reached on May 9.
Today’s average price in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is 4.9 cents more than a week ago, 7 cents more than a month ago and 25.7 cents more than this time last year, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
The yearly highs began one day after the price of oil rose to its highest point since early October 2008. The price of a barrel of benchmark oil for January delivery increased $1.19 Friday to $89.19 in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The price of oil rose 6.5 percent last week, which analysts attribute to the declining worth of the dollar, which means it takes more dollars to purchase a commodity.
The weakness of the dollar also prompts investors to buy commodities which have a steady demand, driving up prices.
Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull, vice president of strategic communications for the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.
Futures prices for other petroleum-based commodities, such as gasoline and heating oil, also rose sharply last week.