ROCKFORD (Staff/CNN) -- Rockford gas prices continue to rise well above that national average according to gas monitoring website Rockfordgasprices.com. It reports that average retail gasoline prices in Rockford have risen 16.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.90/gal Sunday. That compares with the national average that has increased 11.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.68/gal.
Local gas prices are now 60.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, while the national average has increased 42.2 cents per gallon during the last month.
"The steady climb of retail gas prices is likely to continue following double-digit increases in wholesale prices with fuel production tightening in the majority of the country's refineries," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Gregg Laskoski in a news release. "Los Angeles has climbed to $4.28 per gallon with a 55-cent average price increase in the past month, and that rate was surpassed in Chicago ($4.09 average price) and Detroit ($3.86 per gallon average), where motorists saw 63- and 64-cent respective increases over the same period. New York crossed the $4 threshhold too."
Rising crude oil prices, production cuts and refinery closings are all impacting what you pay at the pump. "Right now, things are tight worldwide," said Ray Carbone, president of New York commodities trading firm Paramount Options. "Refineries going down, unanticipated maintenance, and higher demand ... going into driving season."
Two-thirds of the cost of one gallon of gas comes from the price of crude, which has jumped 10% in the last two months, according to the Energy Information Administration. As the U.S. housing market experiences a resurgence, the jobs picture brightens and consumer spending expands, anticipation of higher oil demand is driving up prices. At the same time, fears have ebbed that there would be a protracted slowdown in China's economy, which would have dampened global demand for oil.
OPEC, the powerful cartel of petroleum exporting countries, is also believed to have cut production by about 1 million barrels a day in the last few months, partly in response to rising oil production elsewhere, notably the United States.
Adding to that, several refineries are either preparing to, or have already, shut down for maintenance before their annual switch to summer gasoline, which is formulated differently.