SC gas prices up 14 cents in a month

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WCIV) - Gas prices in South Carolina jumped 14 cents in the past month, from $3.21 to $3.35 per gallon, according to AAA Carolinas.

However, that price is still 6 cents under 2012's average of $3.41.

AAA Carolinas said the reason gas prices are ticking upward is partially due to higher crude oil prices being pushed up by stronger economic news both domestically and internationally. Refineries are also getting ready to switch to summer blend gasoline, which restricts output and tightens supply, the travel group reported Tuesday.

"The unfortunate news is we expect gas prices to continue to rise incrementally in upcoming weeks," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. "However, barring any unforeseen supply issues or instability in the Middle East, we don't expect increases to reach last year's levels."

Last year, gas prices reached their highest point in early April when prices climbed to $3.74 per gallon on average.

Unlike the Carolinas, gas prices nationally average $3.60 today, up 20 cents from a month ago and up 9 cents from a year ago. Today's national average is the highest on record for the calendar date, AAA Carolinas said.