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Gas price declines may be over

A large jump in California wholesale gas prices in recent days has slowed or stopped prices from declining at Southern California gas pumps, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The state average was $3.529 a gallon for regular on Friday -- two-tenths of a cent lower than last week and $1.15 lower than the $4.671 new record price set on Oct. 9.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego is $3.582, seven-tenths of one cent below last week, 19 cents below last month, and 1 cent higher than last year.

In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, the price is $3.585 per gallon, which is 1.2 cents less than last week, 22 cents lower than last month, and less than a penny higher than last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $3.627, down six-tenths of one cent from last week, 22 cents lower than a month ago, and less than one cent above last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $3.544, down 2 cents from last week, 23 cents lower than last month, and less than one cent more than last year.

"In the past nine days, local wholesale prices have jumped by 40 cents," said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. "However, that doesn't necessarily mean prices will start going up very quickly. There was a big price cushion for the last two months between the wholesale price and the retail price, and that gap has just been closed to what would be considered a 'normal' level. However, if wholesale prices continue spiking, we could see some rapid price increases at gas stations in coming weeks."

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