Gas hits national average of $4 for first time

Gas prices rose overnight Saturday to top a $4-per-gallon nationwide average for the first time.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Drivers on Sunday paid an average of $4 for a gallon of gasoline for the first time, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gas rose to $4.005 overnight from $3.988. That number is 89 cents higher than a year ago.

The average price in North Carolina also rose about a cent overnight – but remained under $4, at $3.927. Drivers were paying $3.943 in Raleigh and $3.914 in Fayetteville.

Some gas stations in Raleigh, though, were charging up to $4.06 a gallon on Sunday, according to WRAL's FuelTracker.

For Triangle residents, that's an average 88-cent increase from a year ago and a nearly 92-cent rise for Fayetteville drivers – who were paying under $3 for a gallon of gas in June 2007.

The most expensive gas was selling at $3.964 in Asheville, and the cheapest was going for $3.902 in Wilmington.

However, consumers in many parts of the country however, have already been paying well above that price for some time. In California, some gas stations were pushing at $5 a gallon on Friday.

Gas is expected to keep climbing, putting greater pressure on consumers and businesses, because the price of oil is soaring in futures markets. Light, sweet crude shot up nearly $11 a barrel Friday and approached $140 for the first time.

Along with higher fuel costs, consumers are also contending with higher prices for food and other goods because of rising transportation costs.

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